Details Of Firearms Used By Santa Monica Mass Shooting Suspect Released

Friday, 14 Jun 2013, 9:17:00 AM

Brenton Garen

The rifle used by gunman John Zawahri was a .223 caliber assault rifle that consists of what is referred to an 80 percent lower, and did not have a serial number. The upper assembly, also has no markings.
Courtesy of SMPD
The rifle used by gunman John Zawahri was a .223 caliber assault rifle that consists of what is referred to an 80 percent lower, and did not have a serial number. The upper assembly, also has no markings.

The Santa Monica Police Department has released details of

the weapons used by last Friday’s mass shooting suspect John Zawahri who killed five

people and wounded three others before he was killed by two SMPD officers and a Santa

Monica College police officer on the campus of SMC at 12:05 pm.

SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis said one critical piece of evidence

that was collected was the rifle that Zawahri used. 

“Detectives learned that this rifle, a .223 caliber assault

rifle that consists of what is referred to an 80 percent lower, does not have a

serial number,” Lewis said. “The upper assembly, also has no markings.” 

Lewis said all of the .223 magazines recovered were capable

of holding 30 rounds -- adding 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,” he said. “Detectives

are still looking into how he obtained additional ammunition.”

A .44 caliber “black powder” revolver had been converted to

fire .45 caliber rounds, Lewis said.

“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,” he said. “Detectives also

recovered three ‘Zip Guns’ from

Zawahri. These weapons are illegal to possess

and appear to have been handmade.”

Lewis said several other replica handguns were also recovered

during the search of his room.

He said evidence collected in the investigation indicates

that the assault rifle (upper assembly and the 80 percent 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.

Lewis said 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 from Zawahri’s body by the Los

Angeles County Coroner’s Office, but it did not give a motive for his actions,

Lewis said.

“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,” he said.

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