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Nation/World

June 10, 2013

Police ID suspect in Santa Monica rampage

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — A woman who was critically wounded in the Santa Monica shooting spree died Sunday, bringing the total number of victims killed by the gunman to five.

Marcela Franco, 26, died of her injuries at UCLA Medical Center, according to Santa Monica College spokeswoman Tricia Ramos.

Franco had been a passenger in a Ford Explorer driven by her father, campus groundskeeper Carlos Navarro Franco, 68, who also was killed in Friday’s attack. They were going to the school to buy textbooks for classes the young woman was enrolled in for the summer, president Chui L. Tsang said in a statement posted on the college’s website.

“Her family was with her by her side” when she died, Tsang said.

Police Sgt. Richard Lewis confirmed the suspect’s identity Sunday as John Zawahri. Meanwhile, investigators trying to determine why he planned the shooting spree focused on a deadly act of domestic violence that touched off the mayhem.

The heavily armed man’s attack against his father and older brother at their home led to the violence in Santa Monica streets, lasting just a matter of minutes until he was shot to death in a chaotic scene at the college library by police.

Authorities had not immediately named the shooter or the two men found dead in the house because next of kin was out of the country and hadn’t been notified. Lewis said his name was released Sunday after his mother cut her trip short and came back to the country.

Lewis said she was being interviewed by investigators.

“A big piece of the puzzle just came home,” he said.

Investigators were looking at family connections to find a motive because the killer’s father and brother were the first victims, an official briefed on the probe who requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly told The Associated Press.

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