Rampage shooter was former student at California college

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A gunman who killed four people in a shooting and carjacking rampage was a former student at the California college where he was ultimately killed by police, officials said at a press conference on Saturday.

Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said the gunman, whose name she did not release, was armed with some 1,300 rounds of ammunition and an arsenal of weapons during Friday's bloody killing spree.

The suspect carried "a bag full of loaded magazines," Chief Seabrooks said, as well as a handgun and a semiautomatic rifle" as he stormed through the streets of Santa Monica.

In addition to those killed, the suspect left several people injured in a string of random shootings in the normally placid southern California town.

He ended up on the campus of Santa Monica College, which police said he formerly attended as a student.

"The suspect walked along campus shooting as he went along," Chief Seabrooks said.

"The suspect entered the library, attempted to kill several patrons hiding in a safe room. It is miraculous those individuals weren't physically injured," she said, adding that the assailant was fatally shot in the library by police.

The violence began with shootings in a nearby house, which was then set on fire.

Authorities said two bodies found in the burnt-out home were those of the gunman's father and brother. Officials said the suspect carried out the assault one day before his 24th birthday.

The shootings occurred only a few miles from an event attended by President Barack Obama on Friday.

They are the latest in an all-too regular succession of such rampages, which fuel the gun control debate in America.

Last year, a young gunman massacred 20 schoolchildren in Connecticut, and another slayed 12 moviegoers in a theater in Colorado.