Richard Martinez laments the loss of his son Christopher
The father of a UCSB shooting victim denounced the National Rifle Association and politicians in a heartfelt plea to “stop this madness” on Saturday after a shooting rampage left seven dead.
A visibly distraught Richard Martinez publicly mourned the loss of his son Christopher, 20, in a heartbreaking speech at a press conference on Saturday in Santa Barbara.
“Why did Chris die?” he asked. “Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’s right to live?” he pleaded.
Twenty-two-year-old Elliot Rodger, the son of “Hunger Games” assistant director Peter Rodger, is believed to have gone on a shooting rampage in the upscale, college neighborhood of Isla Vista, near University of California, Santa Barbara on Friday night, leaving six dead in addition to himself, and many others injured.
His full statement was:
“Our son Chris Martinez and six others are dead,” Martinez said. “Our family has a message for every parent out there: You don’t think it will happen to your child until it does.”
“Chris was a really great kid. Ask anyone who knew him. His death has left our family lost and broken.
“Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’s right to live?
“When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, “Stop this madness!” Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, “Not one more!”
Martinez was the second victim to be identified on Saturday. Another victim in the drive-by shooting was identified by friends and family as Veronika Weiss, 19, of Westlake Village. Weiss was in her first year at the University of California, Santa Barbara and had been a member of the Westlake High School girls water polo team while in high school.