Local Community Honors Victims on 10th Anniversary of Isla Vista Shooting

Isla Vista Strong Memorial Project (courtesy)

Ten years ago the community of Isla Vista, located next to the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus, was forever changed when a tragic shooting spree unfolded.

As the tenth anniversary of this horrific event approaches, the community gathers to remember the lives lost.

The evening of May 23, 2014, saw a series of deadly attacks that claimed the lives of six UCSB students: George Chen, Chen-Yuan “James” Hong, Weihan “David” Wang, Katherine “Katie” Cooper, Veronika Weiss, and Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez. The shooter, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, also died after the rampage.

To honor the victims, the Isla Vista community has organized several memorial events. Isla Vista Community Services District (IVCSD), in collaboration with Santa Barbara City College, Isla Vista Recreation & Parks District, UCSB Associated Students, and UCSB Student Engagement and Leadership, are hosting a 10th Anniversary Remembrance for May 23, 2014.

This will take place in the IV Love and Remembrance Garden from 12pm-1pm with a livestream option. The event plans to bring the community together for a moment of spoken word, remembrance, and connection at the IV Love and Remembrance Garden.

A poster for a 10th anniversary remembrance event with three candles, names, date, time, location, and logos.

In addition to the memorial ceremony, several other events are planned throughout the week. These include panel discussions, art exhibits, and film screenings, all aimed at fostering dialogue about gun violence prevention, mental health support, and community healing.

UCSB Associated Students, in collaboration with the UCSB Library, invites students and members of the community to embrace history, engage with creative expression, and be empowered as one body moving forward.

The IV Strong Memorial Project is an archive of artifacts, reflections, and shared experiences. “Over a decade of information is collected here, yet barely scratches the surface of our history. The story of us is written by generations of communities that have walked the halls, taught in classrooms, sat on the Arbor grass, and includes those who are not with us today,” the project states.

The IV Strong Memorial Project hopes to stitch these stories and lived experiences together in the form of a Memorial Walk, where all may look each other in the eye and share their story. This one mile stretch spans the entire length of the IV community, from the surf spot at Devereux to the hub of student life, the UCSB Library.

The exhibit at the UCSB Library is available for public viewing through June 17.

Flowers and hearts outside the IV Deli Mart days after the shooting (Photo: IV Strong Memorial Project)

The UCSB Library will also hold an Origami Folding Event on May 23, 2024 from 2-4pm in the Library’s Fishbowl (first floor oceanside).

A Memorial Paddle-Out is scheduled on May 23, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. from Devereux Beach.

Additionally, Memorial Board Reproductions will be on display through May 31 at Pardall Center and the Pardall Center Reflection Space will be open from May 27 to May 31.

The tragedy that occurred in Isla Vista has had a lasting impact on the community. In the aftermath of the shooting, efforts were intensified to address mental health issues, enhance campus safety protocols, and advocate for stricter gun control laws. The tragedy sparked a national conversation about the intersection of mental health and gun violence, which continues today.

Local Representative Salud Carbajal released a video statement remembering the lives lost and recommitting to curbing gun violence in their memory.

“I still remember that day. The phone calls I got, the anguish we all felt both for Isla Vista and my alma mater UCSB,” said Rep. Carbajal. “Sadly in the years since we have seen more and more lives lost to senseless gun violence – so when I came to Congress I pledged to Isla Vista and all of the Central Coast that I would work every day, tirelessly, to end gun violence.”

Rep. Carbajal’s full statement can be seen in a video message below:

As the 10th anniversary approaches, the Isla Vista, UCSB, and surrounding Santa Barbara communities stands together, remembering the victims and supporting survivors.

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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    • What’s sad is that you feel the need to diminish this by pushing your gun loving agenda and nitpicking a headline about a local tragedy where half of those killed were shot dead by a gun and many more wounded by that gun. Just because others where killed by knife doesn’t mean he didn’t go on a shooting spree, which is exactly what he did as he drove around shooting people with his gun.

      • I’m really am not a gun nut or a Trumper. I am a nutty believer that the victims and events deserve be truthfully represented? Not used as a anti gun hit piece. The article was either written by someone who doesn’t know the true history or wanted to skew the perspective.

        • You are nit-picking. The majority of this heinous crime involved a gun. This kid went around blatantly shooting from his vehicle and it’s a miracle he missed many of his intended targets. If the headline said “Isla Vista massacre” or “Isla Vista Killing Spree” you’d likely have opinions about it being sensationalized.

        • SAIL – never said you were a “Trumper.” Are you really saying this wasn’t a “shooting?”

          Pretty “gunny” of you to suggest the author is trying to “skew the perspective” by calling a shooting a shooting. Sure, he killed his roommates with a knife, but then went on a shooting spree.

          All together, it is what it is – an absolute tragedy. A mass shooting that started after a knife attack. A shooting is a shooting.

        • “used as a anti gun hit piece (sic)” – yeah, THAT is ridiculous. It’s about the memorial.

          If he didn’t drive around shooting people, there’d be much less dead and injured. FACT. If loose gun laws didn’t allow a kid with known mental health issues to own a gun, there’d be much less dead and injured. FACT. This was made far worse because of his mass shooting. FACT.

          Go cuddle your guns if you’re scared, but you calling this a hit piece is shameful.

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