A gunman broke into homes, set fire to a property, shot at traffic and tried to hijack vehicles in a rampage in Santa Monica which reportedly left seven people dead and the suspect killed by police.
Santa Monica police chief Jacqueline Seabrooks told reporters the rampage began at a house in before the gunman, dressed all in black, made his way to Santa Monica College.
Seabrooks said he killed two people in the house, which caught fire, two more people as he moved several blocks toward the campus, and then two more on campus.
"The officers came in and directly engaged the suspect and he was shot and killed on the scene," Seabrooks said.
The rampage began shortly before midday when police received reports of break-ins, a house on fire and a man shooting at traffic, including a bus, on the corner of Cloverfield and Olympic boulevards. He tried to hijack several vehicles before running to the nearby campus.
Students in the library, where they were studying for end of year exams, scrambled for cover and fled when they heard gunfire. One described the gunman as a white male in his 20s with cornrows in his hair. Some witnesses said he had a shotgun, others said it was an assault rifle. Many said he also had a handgun.
Jimes Gillespie, 20, told AP he was in the library studying when he heard a shotgun blast followed by eight to 10 handgun shots. "Then after I saw the gunman I heard more shots and I ran out of the library through the emergency exit."
Police found two bodies at the burning house. One of the wounded who was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center later died. The condition of the suspect was not immediately known.
President Obama, who was in Santa Monica for a Democratic fundraiser lunch, was rerouted to avoid the area around the campus. His visit was not thought to be linked to the shootings.