Victims All ID’d in Santa Barbara Shootings
A gunman went on a rampage Friday night near the University of California, Santa Barbara that left seven people dead, including him. Here are the stories of the six victims, who were all students at the university.
KATHERINE BREANN COOPER
Her friend Courtney Benjamin said Cooper, 22, was a painter with an outgoing side. The resident of Chino Hills, California, was about to graduate with a degree in art history.
“She was a self-proclaimed princess and I love her for that,” Benjamin said. “And I know she has a crown on her head today.”
Andrew Notohamiprodjo was Cooper’s ballroom dance teacher three years ago and later supervised her as a teaching assistant in ballroom dance. Cooper was looking forward to graduating but planned to stay in town another year, he said.
“She was a lot of fun, super forward,” he said.
Cooper graduated from Ruben S. Ayala High School in Chino Hills in 2010.
CHENG YUAN HONG
One of Elliot Rodger’s roommates, Hong was among the first three killed. Sheriff’s officials had mentioned at a Saturday press conference that Rodger contacted authorities to report his roommate had allegedly his stolen candles. Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley says Hong was that roommate.
Hong, 20, was charged with petty theft, and Dudley said he pleaded guilty.
Hong was from San Jose, California.
Chen, 19, was among the three young men found dead with multiple stab wounds in Rodger’s apartment, the Santa Barbara sheriff’s office said. Chen, also from San Jose, was listed on the lease for the apartment along with Hong and Rodger.
Wang, 20, of Fremont, California, was among the three young men Rodger killed, authorities say. Investigators were trying to determine whether he was also a roommate or was visiting at the time of the attack.
CHRISTOPHER ROSS MICHAELS-MARTINEZ
Michaels-Martinez, 20, was an English major from Los Osos, California, who planned to go to London next year and to law school after graduation, his father, Richard Martinez, said at a Saturday press conference.
He pulled out a photo of his son as a small child in a Chicago Cubs baseball uniform and said they used to call him “mini-Sammy Sosa,” referring to the former Cubs star.
“Chris was a really great kid,” Martinez said. “Ask anyone who knew him.”
Friends said Michaels-Martinez, who served as residential adviser at a dorm last year, was the kind of guy who would welcome strangers into his home.
VERONIKA ELIZABETH WEISS
Weiss, 19, was first-year student from Westlake Village, California.
“She was always a happy person,” said Eric Pursley, who worked with Weiss at a Target store in Thousand Oaks last year.
Weiss was a water polo player at Westlake High School who earned league honors during her senior year, according to the Thousand Oaks Acorn newspaper.