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Santa Monica Shootings: Father, Daughter Among the Victims

Good Morning America

A Santa Monica College employee and his daughter were among the victims of a shooting rampage that left five people dead as well as the suspected gunman.

Marcela Franco, 26, was with her father, Carlos, 68, when the gunman -- described by police as "heavily armed" and "ready for battle" -- came on the campus in Santa Monica, Calif., Friday.

The gunman opened fire on the car the Francos were driving in, spraying it with bullets and killing Carlos Franco.

The vehicle crashed into a wall, criticially injuring Marcela, who died this morning at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center with her family by her side, according to a statement from the school.

"Our deepest sympathies go to the Franco family," college president Chui L. Tsang said in an email today. "At the appropriate time, the College will convene a campus-wide memorial."

Marcela Franco had registered to attend classes at Santa Monica College this summer, Tsang said in the email.

Carlos Franco, who was a longtime groundskeeper at the college, "was very well liked and very respected," Santa Monica Police Chief Albert Vasquez said in a news conference today.

Surveillance video footage released today shows fearful Santa Monica, Calif., restaurant-goers ducking under tables as the suspected gunman, whom ABC News has identified as 23-year-old John Zawahri, opens fire outside.

"He shot 16 shots," restaurant owner Chedi Abed told ABC Los Angeles affiliate KABC-TV.

In addition, authorities released surveillance camera images of the gunman, whose name has not been officially announced by police, entering the Santa Monica College library wielding an assault rifle.

Arezou Zakarai, who was in the library at the time of the shootings, told ABC News she was happy to be alive after the chilling ordeal.

"Three girls ran into the library yelling, 'There's a shooter! He has a gun! Help! Oh no!'" she said. "I got under a table and then there were three consecutive shots."

Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said that once in the library, the gunman allegedly shot at students who barricaded themselves inside a "safe room."

"They stacked items found in the safe room against the door, hunkered down and avoided shots that were fired through the drywall at them as they were in that room," Seabrooks said in a news conference on Saturday.

He allegedly killed five people in what authorities characterized as a deliberate attack before he was gunned down in a shootout with police in the library.

Vasquez said that a vigil would taken place during Tuesday's regularly scheduled graduation ceremony in light of the shootings.

READ: Santa Monica Shootings 'Premeditated,' Shooter 'Ready for Battle,' Police Say

Police said the suspect was wearing a protective vest and carrying so much weaponry he was, in the words of one official, "ready for battle."

"I would presume anytime someone puts on a vest of some sort and has a bag of loaded magazines as an extra receiver, has a handgun and has a semi automatic rifle, carjacks folks, goes to a college, kills more people and has to be neutralized at hands of police -- I would stay that's premeditated," Seabrooks said.

Police confirmed that the suspect would have turned 24 years old on Saturday and that he, along with another family member, had a connection to Santa Monica College.

He was carrying approximately 1,300 rounds of ammunition, in addition to a revolver and a rifle similar to an AR-15 semi-automatic in a duffel bag, Seabrooks said.

Police had responded to an earlier incident involving the suspect in 2006, Seabrooks said, but she could not release anything more about that incident because he was a minor at the time.

Shooting Timeline

On Friday, authorities first responded to a report of shots fired at 11:52 a.m. PT and found a house on fire. Two dead bodies were found inside the home, fire officials said. Authorities said the dead bodies were related to the shooter, but they did not specify how.

Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire in the front room before finding the bodies, which were toward the rear of the house. Authorities told reporters they were still investigating what caused the fire.

A few minutes after noon, Santa Monica authorities started getting calls that a city bus was being hit with gunfire. The suspected gunman had reportedly carjacked a woman at gunpoint and forced her to drive him to Santa Monica College's campus, spraying bullets at nearby vehicles on the route.

Two people riding a city bus sustained minor injuries from the gunfire.

MORE: Santa Monica Shootings: 4 Victims and Suspect Killed: Police

The woman, who was forced to drive the shooter to the Santa Monica College campus, was unharmed.

According to police, the suspect fired on Marcela Franco and her father, Carlos who were in a Ford Explorer in the campus faculty parking lot. That vehicle later crashed into a block wall.

Once on campus, the suspected shooter, who was dressed in all black, opened fire at bystanders, fatally shooting one woman and before he went inside a library on campus, police said.

Authorities did not identify the woman who was killed by name, but said she was appeared to be white and in her 50's.

Once in the library, the shooter initially tried to shoot students in a "safe room," according to Seabrooks. But the students were able to barricade the door.

"He continued to shoot at them," Seabrooks said. "The officers came in and directly engaged the suspect, and he was shot and killed on the scene."

Three officers engaged the suspect according to authorities, two from the Santa Monica Police Department and one from Santa Monica College.

While authorities first stated the shootings left as many as six people dead, they later downgraded to five deaths, which included four victims and the shooter himself.

Lewis suggested the initial overcount may have been caused by overlapping witness reports of the same fatalities.

In addition to the dead, at least five people were injured, police said.

The college campus went on lockdown following the shootings as police attempted to secure the scene.

The campus was expected to reopen Monday morning at 7 a.m.

ABC News' Gillian Mohney, Christina Ng, Michael James, Jack Date and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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