UC Santa Barbara victim had Seattle ties




Posted on May 26, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Updated Monday, May 26 at 6:26 PM

Despite images of her smiling face kissed by the California sun, Veronika Weiss was a Seattle girl at heart. She was born at Swedish Medical Center and spent the first half of her life in Seattle, before her parents moved to Southern California.

"She is the only person I know who would say how much she preferred the weather in Seattle to California," said her aunt Jane.

Weiss wanted to attend the University of Washington, but high out-of-state tuition kept the 19-year-old freshman closer to home at University of California at Santa Barbara.

But she loved her purple UW hoodie and wore it with Husky pride. Growing up, she excelled as both a student and an athlete.

"She was fierce," said her father Bob Weiss. "She was strong. She was smart. She had a great sense of who she was and she took on everything."

Veronika Weiss was with a sorority sister preparing for a charity event Friday night when they were confronted by the gunman.

"The shooter pounded on the door of the sorority. No one would let him in. He ran around the corner right into the face of these girls and just started firing on them. My guess is at very close range," said Weiss.

Veronka Weiss's parents didn't know what had happened to her for hours. They activated an iPhone tracking app to see if they could locate their daughter. It placed the young woman right in the middle of the crime scene. Unable to get confirmation of her condition they checked her phone again, and made a chilling discovery.

"We got to the border of the crime scene and we turned it on again," said Weiss. "We could actually see the phone moving which we assume was Veronika Weiss's body being moved to the coroner's truck."

Bob Weiss says he isn't angry. He's just sad. He said he feels compassion for the shooter's family and for all those families dealing with yet another mass killing in America.

"The kids keep dying. The guns keep showing up everywhere. It seems like you can buy a gun as easily as you can get a Slurpee at 7/11. That's just too dangerous," he said.