California killings: Father of victim shot by Elliot Rodger blames 'irresponsible politicians and the NRA' for son's death

Rodger stabbed three roommates before shooting three more in rampage in Santa Barbara

The father of one of the victims shot by Elliot Rodger during his murderous rampage in Santa Barbara has blamed his son's death on “craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA”.

Richard Martinez, the father of 20-year-old student Christopher Martinez, told reporters on Saturday: “Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA.”

“They talk about gun rights, what about Chris’s right to live? When will this insanity stop?” asked Mr Martinez, who said that his family was “lost and broken” before he broke down while showing pictures of his son smiling in a baseball outfit as a child.

He said: “When will enough people say, ‘Stop this madness.’ We do not have to live like this. Too many people have died. We should say to ourselves, ‘not one more’.”

The NRA said that it supports the right to own and carry firearms, and that responsible gun owners should not be punished for mass shootings, according to Reuters.

Mr Martinez’s son was one of seven killed in Santa Barbara on Friday night, including the death of Rodger, the 22-year-old who went on a shooting spree in the town of Isla-Vista in “retribution” against women on Friday night.

 

Police confirmed that Rodger first stabbed his three male roommates at his apartment before getting in his BMW and shooting three people dead and wounding seven others.

The two women shot dead by Rodgers have been identified as 19-year-old Veronika Wiess and 22-year-old Katie Cooper, both members of the Delta Delta Delta sorority at UCSB.

The father of 19-year-old Ms Weiss told the New York Daily News that his daughter was “loving every minute” of college and that she probably would have been a “friend” to Rodgers.

Katie Cooper (top) was one of the six people shot dead by Elliot Rodger (Facebook)

He said: “My daughter would probably have been a friend to him because of the way she was. She was always drawn to the ones with broken wings.”

“She was the opposite of what he thought he was shooting,” he said. “She was the kind who would have reached out to him. She reached out to the kids who weren’t the most popular or the cutest.”

Stacy Simmer, the aunt of Ms Cooper, told the Daily Mail she was driving when she received the news about her niece’s death. She said: “I was on my way to church and my brother-in-law, Dan, called me and said, ‘Stacy, are you driving? I need you to pull over because I have something terrible to tell you. There was a guy in a car and he was driving around and shooting people, and Katie was one of them and she was killed’.”

Warning: Some viewers may find the following video offensive

Ms Simmer said her niece was “the apple of all our eyes” and that Ms Cooper had done a lot of charity fundraising for St Jude’s Children’s hospital.

Mr Martinez said that his son was an English major at UC Santa Barbara, and that he had planned to go to law school. He told of how he had spoken to his son Christopher 45 minutes before he was shot on the phone.

Mr Martinez’s son was shot and killed by Rodgers in a local delicatessen. A 19-year-old student who knew Mr Martinez, Lyssa Hopper, said she was in the Deli on Friday night buying Gatorade and soda when she heard what she said were multiple gun shots, according to the LA Times.

Ms Hopper said she saw glass flying and dropped to the ground, before looking up to see Mr Michael-Martinez slumped on the ground in a pool of blood. She said she tried to help administer CPR on the victim but that she was too upset to actually aid him until the paramedics arrived.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballLive! Sanchez makes up for penalty miss to put Arsenal ahead
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all