7 dead in drive-by shooting near UC Santa Barbara

Drive-by shootings left seven dead and several wounded in the Isla Vista area near UC Santa Barbara late Friday.

According to the Associated Press, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said the dead in Friday night's rampage included the suspected attacker, who was driving a black BMW.

He said he didn't know whether the suspect was shot by deputies, or if his wound was self-inflicted.

The shootings began about 9:30 p.m. local time, a sheriff’s spokeswoman told KEYT-TV.

An 18-year-old Newport Beach man who was visiting Santa Barbara described a confusing scene as the shots rang out.

Nikolaus Becker was eating outside a restaurant named The Habit, near the scene when the first set of shots was fired about 9:30 p.m. At first he thought it was firecrackers. A group of three to five police officers who were nearby started to casually walk toward the sounds, said Becker, but ran when a second round of shots broke out.

"That's when they yelled at us to get inside and take cover," Becker said.

A black BMW took a sharp turn in front of The Habit, Becker said, and moments later a third round of shots was heard. Becker and his friends moved toward the restaurant's kitchen but were told to wait in the seating area by employees.

He estimates there were at least 13 to 15 shots total at three locations. The locations were about 100 yards from one another.

Becker said one of his friends who came into the restaurant after the shootings saw a police officer trying to resuscitate a bloody male who was hit.

Another girl came into The Habit crying and said her sorority sister had also been struck. 

When Becker emerged from the restaurant about 30 minutes later, he saw three light-colored body bags.

"It was chaotic and there's a lot of rumors flying around," Becker said. "It was so strange, afterwards there was still people outside riding their bikes. One guy was doing his homework."

Witness Xavier Mozejewski told KEYT that the incident resembled an "old Western shootout."

TV footage showed ambulances and police cars swarming the scene. Witnesses said multiple shots were fired from a car and that several people were hit. The Daily Nexus, the campus newspaper, reported a witness saying the car hit several pedestrians.

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