FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2013
Contact: Richard Lewis, Sergeant
On June 7, 2013, the City of Santa Monica experienced a mass shooting which resulted in five people being killed and three wounded within approximately 13 minutes. The suspect, John Zawahri, was shot and killed by officers from both the Santa Monica Police and Santa Monica College Police Departments.
During the course of the last week, detectives from both the Santa Monica Police and Fire Departments have worked to collect evidence, conduct interviews and investigate the incident and the events that led up to this fateful day.
One critical piece of evidence that was collected was the rifle that Zawahri used. This firearm was collected and delivered to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Crime Lab for processing. Detectives learned that this rifle, a .223 caliber assault rifle that consists of what is referred to an 80% lower, does not have a serial number. The upper assembly, also has no markings. All of the .223 magazines recovered were capable of holding 30 rounds; these are illegal to possess in California. At least one case consisting of 1000 rounds of .223 caliber ammunition was shipped to Zawahri from northern California. Detectives are still looking into how he obtained additional ammunition.
A .44 caliber "black powder" revolver had been converted to fire .45 caliber rounds. Detectives recovered evidence that indicates Zawahri obtained various documents and the parts needed to convert the non-firing "black powder" handgun to a serviceable (firing) revolver.
Detectives also recovered three "Zip Guns" from Zawahri. These weapons are illegal to possess and appear to have been handmade. Several other replica handguns were also recovered during the search of his room.
Evidence collected in the investigation indicates that the assault rifle (upper assembly and the 80% lower), a number of the magazines and several components to modify both of the firearms, shipped from locations outside California.
A letter from the Department of Justice dated October 1, 2011 was also located in his bedroom. The letter informed Zawahri that he was not eligible to purchase a firearm.
No firearms are registered to John Zawahri and based on the investigation thus far, the family does not have any registered firearms.
A three page note was recovered Zawahri's body by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. The note did not give a motive for his actions.
The Santa Monica Fire Department continues to investigate the cause of the fire, but at this time it does appear that it is arson related.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Ahn at (310) 458-8452; Sergeant Ira Rutan at (310) 458-8959; Investigations tip line at (310) 458-8449 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at (310) 458-8495.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call WeTip at 1-80078-CRIME (1-800-78-27463), or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. You will remain completely anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.00, if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.
Or, anonymous tipsters can contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or by visiting their website at www.lacrimestoppers.org. To text an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers; please view their webpage for detailed instructions. If the information leads to an arrest, the tipster is eligible to receive a reward up to $1,000.00