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Isla Vista Rampage

Seven Dead, Seven Injured in California Shooting Near UC Santa Barbara

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People look at a black BMW sedan driven by a drive-by shooter on Saturday, May 24, 2014, in Isla Vista, Calif. Jae C. Hong / AP

Police are investigating why a gunman opened fire on a Southern California college town, spraying bullets from his car in a Friday night rampage that killed six people and injured seven others, including "several" students, officials said.

The suspect, who investigators said acted alone as he stalked streets near the University of California, Santa Barbara, was killed following a shootout with police, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. A family attorney identified him as Elliot Rodger, 22.

Attorney Alan Shifman told NBC News that his family has yet to officially identify the body but that they're cooperating with police. "My client's mission in life will be to try to prevent such tragedies from ever happening again," Shifman added.

For complete coverage, visit NBC Southern California

Investigators were scrambling overnight at nine crime scenes across Isla Vista, a bustling beach community known for its weekend nightlife and party scene.

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Sheriff's personnel are also vetting a YouTube video that "suggests this atrocity was premeditated mass murder," the sheriff said.

Rodger's parents were aware of YouTube videos their son had posted and had contacted police, Shifman said.

In a video posted Friday, Rodger details plans for "retribution" and "revenge against humanity.”

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"You girls have never been attracted to me," Rodger says in the video, claiming to be frustrated that he is still a virgin in his college years.

He vows to enter a sorority house and kill women there, then “take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there.”

Authorities did not say that the person in the video they were investigating was the suspect in the shooting.

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"It's obviously the work of a madman," Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown said at a news conference early Saturday. "There's going to be a lot more information that will come out that will give a clearer picture of just how disturbed this individual was."

Drive-by shootings were first reported to dispatchers at 9:27 p.m. (12:27 a.m. ET Saturday), the sheriff's office said in a statement. When deputies responded to the location in Isla Vista, they found several victims suffering from gunshot wounds.

"Only minutes later, there were additional reports of shots fired in several other areas of Isla Vista," the statement said.

Six minutes after the first call, the suspect opened fire on a group of deputies pursuing him, the statement said. Witnesses told NBC Southern California that shortly after the shootout with officers, the suspect's black BMW crashed.

When officers approached the car, they found the suspect dead from a gunshot wound, but they are not sure whether the wound was self-inflicted or if the shooter was shot by a deputy, Brown said at a news conference. A semiautomatic handgun was discovered in the car, he added.

The seven surviving victims were hospitalized at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and being treated for gunshot wounds and "traumatic" injuries, authorities said. At least one of the victims had undergone surgery for life-threatening injuries, Brown said.

"We have been notified that several of our students were taken to local hospitals last night, but we do not have additional information at this time," UC Santa Barbara said in a statement.

The investigation is ongoing and involves a "very chaotic series of crime scenes," Brown told reporters.

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"I don't understand why someone would shoot at random people, it's terrible," said Julia Di Bernardo, a UC Santa Barbara sophomore who lives in an off-campus apartment above from one of the crime scenes.

Di Bernardo told NBC News that she and her friends were headed out for a night on the town when they heard the shots ring out around 9:30 p.m.

The gunshots "were spaced out when they were directly below us," Di Bernardo said.

"Maybe two minutes later, to the west of us, we heard just a rain of gunfire," she added. "There was a lot."

One of her friends thought the noise was fireworks, but Di Bernardo said the scene was too chaotic.

"Police were saying, 'Go in and stay in,'" Di Bernardo said.

She and her friends were initially headed for Del Playa Drive, where the suspect was chased by police.

"We actually would have been on the same sidewalk," Di Bernardo said, adding that the entire night was "chilling."

The gunshots "were spaced out when they were directly below us," Di Bernardo said.

"Maybe two minutes later, to the west of us, we heard just a rain of gunfire," she added. "There was a lot."

One of her friends thought the noise was fireworks, but Di Bernardo said the scene was too chaotic.

"Police were saying, 'Go in and stay in,'" Di Bernardo said.

She and her friends were initially headed for Del Playa Drive, where the suspect was chased by police.

"We actually would have been on the same sidewalk," Di Bernardo said, adding that the entire night was "chilling."

Just four blocks from where Di Bernardo heard gunshots, witnesses reported that the shooter also opened fire into a group of people near IV Deli Mart.

"I heard somewhere between 12 to 20 shots into a group of people who were eating in front of it," witness Robert Johnson told NBC Southern California.

"I am shocked and deeply saddened by the news of a mass shooting last night in the Isla Vista area near UC Santa Barbara," said University of California President Janet Napolitano.

"My heart is broken over the shooting in Isla Vista last night and the lives it claimed," said Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif. "We've endured too many tragedies as a nation over the past few years. But now is a time for us to pray and to come together as a community."

About 13 years before Saturday's shooting, the community of Isla Vista experienced another massacre when David Attias, the son of a Hollywood TV director Daniel Attias, plowed down pedestrians with his car, killing four.

Officials were expected to give another update on the shooting late Saturday afternoon.

A candlelight vigil will follow the news conference in Storke Plaza, on the campus of UC Santa Barbara, about a half-mile from where the violence broke out Friday night.