The Herald Bulletin

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June 13, 2013

Coroner releases details on Santa Monica deaths

LOS ANGELES — The father of a man that police say killed five people last week in Santa Monica was shot multiple times, and the brother of the shooter was shot once in the chest, the coroner's office disclosed Wednesday.

Gunman John Zawahri, 23, was later shot by police at the Santa Monica College library. He died of multiple gunshot wounds, coroner's Lt. Fred Corral said while releasing details on the deaths.

Zawahri's father, Samir Zawahri, 55, and his brother, Christopher Zawahri, 25, died Friday at the family home, where the 15-minute rampage began.

The gunman then carjacked a woman and headed toward the college, shooting at strangers in a public bus and a car.

Corral said campus groundskeeper Carlos Navarro Franco, 68, died of gunshot wounds to the neck and face; his daughter, Marcela Diaz-Franco, 26, a student at the college, died of a gunshot wound to the head; and Margarita Gomez, 68, who was collecting cans outside the library, died after being shot in the abdomen and chest.

A law enforcement official who was not authorized to speak publicly and asked to remain anonymous said John Zawahri used about 100 of the 1,300 rounds of ammunition he was carrying and sprayed roughly 70 shots in the library.

Police said bomb-making materials were found seven years ago at Zawahri's house during a search prompted by threats to students, teachers and campus police officers at Olympic High, a school for students with academic or disciplinary issues.

Retired police officer Cristina Coria, who helped serve the search warrant, said Zawahri was hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation after the discovery. She didn't know the outcome of the evaluation.

Police declined to provide further details, saying Zawahri was a minor at the time.

The Santa Monica-Malibu school board was briefed at the time by school administrators after police found Zawahri was learning to make explosives by downloading instructions from YouTube, school board member Oscar de la Torre said.

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