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
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'