John Zawahri, 23, was identified as the suspect in the Santa Monica College shooting that left four people dead. Zawahri was also shot and killed in the incident, according to reports on Sunday.
Among those killed were his father and brother. Zawahri reportedly was angry because his parents recently divorced, and he had a history of mental illness, reported the Los Angeles Times, citing law enforcement.
Zawahri was identified as the suspect by five sources close to the matter, the Times said. One law enforcement official said Zawahri had mental health issues when he was a juvenile, and no further details were given.
Police said that the incident was not a “school shooting,” but stressed the violence took place in many places before it ended at Santa Monica College.
Laura Sisk, 41, told the newspaper that she was hijacked by the suspect and was told to be taken to the college and then let him out.
“You’re going to drive me to Santa Monica College and let me out,” the gunman said, according to Sisk.
A neighbor to the Zawahris saw a man standing outside of their home dressed in all black with ammunition around his waist
“He looked like a SWAT officer,” Jerry Cunningham-Rathner said, adding that he saw the house engulfed in flames. Officials then found the bodies of Samir Zawahri, the father of the gunman, and another man.
Neighbor Tim O’Rourke told the Los Angeles Daily News that the Zawahris divorce may have been the reason for the violence. “They had joint custody, but it seems the parents split custody at some point,” O’Rourke said.
Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks told The Associated Press that the suspect had a large amount of ammunition and weapons on him.
“Any time someone puts on a vest, of some sort, comes out with a bag full of loaded magazines, has an extra receiver, has a handgun and has a semi-automatic rifle, carjacks folks, goes to a college, kills more people and has to be neutralized at the hands of the police, I would say that that’s premeditated,” she said.