We now have the names and stories of those murdered in the UCSB rampage. All six were students- three were the attacker's roommates, two were women walking down the street, one was young man in a deli.
We as a culture focus so much on the murderer's ideals, the murderer's background, the murderer's possible mental illness and we forget that his victims had ideals, backgrounds, possible mental illnesses as well. Their names will be forgotten to everyone but their loved ones, while his will be immortalized and I'm not sure there's much we can do about it except bare witness to their lives.
Here are the names and photos of those killed:
Veronika Weiss. 19 years old. Athletic, bright, dedicated. According to CBS news' article on Weiss, Cooper and Martinez, she was shot outside the Alpha Phi sorority house after the killer failed to get in.
Katherine Breanne Cooper. 22 years old. About to graduate. Painter. Also shot outside of Alpha Phi. A third woman was with shot along with Cooper and Weiss, but survived.
Christopher Michaels-Martinez. 20 years old. English major. Planned to study abroad. Martinez was the only one killed when the shooter opened fire at the IV Deli Market.
Weihan Wang. 20 years old. A New York Times report on the stabbing victims states he was Engineeering student. Found dead inside the killer's apartment. It is unclear if he was a roommate or just visiting.
Chen Yuang "James" Hong. 20 years old. Computer engineering major and volunteer at Chinese Rainbow School in Cupertino, CA. and Stabbed to death by his roommate.
George Chen. 19 years old. Computer science student. Along with his murdered roommate(s) he was described by neighbors as "nice, friendly, and quiet."
Remember, these are only those killed in the massacre. Thirteen other people were hospitalized and countless others are traumatized. Parents of the dead are missing their children and the parents of the murderer now have to deal with the aftermath of their son's actions.
We should talk about misogyny and racism. We should talk about mental illness. We should talk about gun control and PUAs and MRAs and the NRA. But we should not forget to talk about the victims. To forget them while focusing solely on the murderer is allows him to become who he wanted to be- "a God" -while his victims fade away and their stories die again. We should not disrespect them by letting that happen.
Images 1 and 2 via ABC7.com; Images 3-6 via New York Daily News.