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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk