Hundreds gather for vigil honoring Isla Vista rampage victims

"We are here to share our sorrow, shock and pain" #IslaVistaShooting

As dusk fell on a grieving Isla Vista, hundreds of students and other community members clutching white candles filtered into Anisq'Oyo' Park from every direction. Some clutched skateboards, others wore dark suits, and a few people brought dogs.

Casey Barbello, 21, a third-year student at nearby UC Santa Barbara, said, "I just wanted to pay my respects for the individuals who lost their lives. I didn't know any of them personally, but it's nice to come out and support everybody else who is mourning."

Attendees said Friday's killing rampage made them realize such a thing could happen anywhere. 

Henry T. Yang, chancellor of UC Santa Barbara, said, "We are here to share our sorrow, shock and pain." In the weeks to come, "we will continue to draw strength and comfort from each other," he said. 

Many people turned their attention to remembering the dead. 

Victim Veronika Weiss, 19, a UCSB student from Westlake, was recalled as a bright, athletic and outgoing young woman. Her Facebook page featured an announcement for a sorority basketball game that was scheduled to take place Saturday, the day after the shooting.

“She definitely has a big personality, very outgoing, friendly. She was very well-liked,” recalled Michelle Noyes, 19, who was friends with Weiss at Westlake High and in middle school.

“She was a leader,” Noyes said in a telephone interview. “She would take control -- like in a good way -- of the group. I remember she ended up planning our homecoming, like what we did before, for a few years. “

The two were both on the swim team, and Noyes said Weiss also played water polo.

“She was a good water polo player,” Noyes said. “I think she might have gotten some awards.”

A student named Courtney was friends with Katherine Breann Cooper, 22, another of the victims of Friday’s rampage. She described her friend as sweet and a princess.

“A self-proclaimed princess and I know that she has her crown on in heaven,” she said.

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