Richard Martinez, the outspoken father of University of California Santa Barbara shooting victim Christopher Michael-Martinez, lashed out at Congress Tuesday during an emotional memorial service honoring the victims of Friday’s deadly massacre.
“Not one more,” the elder Martinez demanded as he addressed a crowd of several thousand students, parents and family members who gathered to remember the six UCSB students killed in Isla Vista.
The killing spree left a total of seven dead, including the gunman, Elliot Rodger, 22. During the memorial service, the names of Rodger’s victims were each read aloud — Veronika Weiss, 19, Katie Cooper, 22, Chris Martinez, 20, Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, George Chen, 19, and Weihan Wang, 20.
The memorial service began at 4 p.m. and was held at UCSB’s Harder Stadium. The arena, which can seat 17,000, appeared to be filled to capacity. The gathering included statements from University of California President Janet Napolitano, students and relatives of the victims.
The elder Martinez read remarks from the parents of Hong and Wang, before launching into his own personal statement. The father-of-one, who has previously railed against the NRA, assured the crowd that he did not speak for all of the victims’ parents. He then explained that he was fed up with what he described as inaction by lawmakers to curb gun violence, and the seemingly endless epidemic of mass killings across the country.
Martinez said he had received a call from an unidentified member of Congress shortly after Friday’s rampage. But he insisted the phone call was not enough.
“This situation has gone on far too long… and we all know it,” Martinez said. He then encouraged everyone in the stadium to write members of Congress and demand stricter gun control laws. “Not one more,” Martinez shouted, explaining he didn’t want another person in the nation to fall victim to gun violence. He then urged the crowd to repeat the phrase after him. As he left the podium, Martinez received a standing ovation.
The memorial was part of a “Day of Mourning and Reflection” at UCSB. Napolitano has ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff at all UC schools until June 1 in honor of the six students who were killed.
According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, Rodger first killed Hong, Chen and Wang at his apartment in the 6500 block of Seville Road. The victims were all stabbed to death with “sharp objects.” The spree continued around 9:27 p.m. He then killed two women in front of the Alpha Phi sorority and a man at a local delicatessen. All of the victims were students at the University of California Santa Barbara.
Investigators found three semiautomatic guns in Rodger’s car. All the weapons were legally purchased and registered to the suspect.