UC Santa Barbara students attend a candlelight march and
vigil following the killings. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn
A Hawkes Bay woman was caught in the middle of a shooting
rampage in California which ended with the deaths of seven
people, including the gunman, and left her neighbour with
Amelia Lyons, 22, was walking home from work when Elliot
Rodger went on a killing spree near the campus of the
University of California, Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, on
Mr Rodger stabbed three men to death in his apartment before
carrying out drive-by shootings, killing three more people.
He was then locked in a gun battle with police before he
crashed his BMW and took his own life.
Ms Lyons told reporters she was walking home after work on
the night of the shooting when a police officer came "blazing
past," running down the road with his gun out, and said "get
inside, take cover, there's a shooter".
She ran home and when she came outside again 10 minutes
later, the streets were full of police with large semi
automatic rifles and handguns. "Obviously it was very
freaky," she said.
"My neighbour was actually shot. It's crazy that it happens
on your doorstep -- hard to believe that this sort of stuff
"It's very sombre here now. In this bright, upbeat town
everyone's been calling their parents reassuring them they're
She described Isla Vista as a sunny, upbeat town, where young
students looked forward to a bright future.
"This kind of thing does not happen [here]."
Amelia's brother, Tom Lyons, last night told Hawkes Bay Today
his sister was "doing good"after the terrifying ordeal.
"She got pulled into a stranger's house.
"When she got back to her house she realised her neighbour
had been shot," Mr Lyons said.
Ms Lyons had lived in Ahuriri and studied at Iona College.
After graduating from the University of California last year,
she had remained in Isla Vista with her American boyfriend.
- Harrison Christian of Hawke's Bay Today