US authorities have confirmed that at least one of the victims in a killing spree last week in California was a Taiwanese student, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Anna Kao (高安) said yesterday.
Representatives from the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Exchange Office (TECRO) branch in Los Angeles has “established direct contact with local authorities” and the University of California at Santa Barbara to offer its assistance, Kao added.
On Friday night, Elliot Rodger, 22, allegedly stabbed to death his two roommates — Hong Cheng-yuan (洪晟元), also known as James, 20, and George Chen, 19 — and a visitor, Wang Weihan, 20, from Fremont, California, in their apartment near the university campus.
Rodger then drove to the Alpha Phi sorority house on campus and shot three women on the lawn.
Katherine Cooper, 22, and Veronika Weiss, 19 — both students at the university — were killed. The third women, as yet unidentified, is being treated for multiple gunshot wounds.
Rodger drove on to a local deli, went inside and shot and killed Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20.
He injured 13 more either with gunshots or a car that he used as a battering ram against bicyclists and skateboarders.
The killing spree claimed seven lives, including Rodger’s.
The Santa Barbara County Sherriff’s Office said Rodger took his own life after the rampage.
US media reports said Rodger had uploaded multiple YouTube videos, including one, which has since been removed, titled Day of Retribution, promising to have “his revenge against humanity” — particularly the women whom he claims rejected him.
Hong, who identified himself on Facebook as having grown up in Taipei, had graduated from Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California, the TECRO office in Los Angeles said.
The office is still seeking confirmation with the university whether Chen was also Taiwanese.
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