Nightly News   |  June 07, 2013

Chaos at Santa Monica College as gunman opens fire

As many as six victims were killed and two to three others injured. The incident did not appear to be related to President Obama’s California visit. Police say the incident began at a home nearby that was enveloped in flames. NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

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>>> we are also following a chaotic and unfolding story in southern california tonight. a multiple shooting at a college campus . it happened in santa monica and nbc's mark potter is there for us. mark, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, ann. good evening to you. you can hear the police helicopters overhead. this is still unfolding. it appears there was an incident with a single gunman at three separate locations. it began in a neighborhood and moved to this college campus . it is being reported now that three people have died. one of them at this campus.

>> oh, my god.

>> reporter: police say the incident began shortly before noon pacific time at a home near the santa monica college . the home enveloped in flames. authorities say two people were found dead inside the house and a woman was wounded in a car outside. eyewitnesses say police chased a car from that scene to an intersection at the campus where a person dressed in black carrying an assault rifle got out of the car and began opening fire.

>> everyone was on the floor, screamed. he started to shoot from the front of the bus to the back of the bus.

>> reporter: after shooting at a red suv and wounding the driver who crashed into a brick walleye witnesses say the gunman headed toward the campus library on foot.

>> santa monica college they have a shooter in a library with an automatic weapon .

>> reporter: students described the chaotic scene and told of hearing shots and seeing a husky male dressed in black carrying an assault rifle or a shotgun.

>> as soon as we opened the door it was automatic. bang, bang, bang. three bangs.

>> reporter: outside the secure crime scene jason garrett talked to a female friend inside one of the campus buildings who was hiding behind a locked door.