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Stories of victims in California rampage

GOLETA, California--A gunman went on a rampage Friday night near the University of California, Santa Barbara that left seven people dead, including him. Here are the stories of the six victims, who were all students at the university

Weihan Wang

A family friend said Wang, who went by the name David, and two other students who shared the Isla Vista apartment with Elliot Rodger had planned to move out because they weren't getting along with him.

“That guy was always playing music very loud in the middle of the night,” Sherry Fang told KNTV-TV on Monday. “They complained to the manager of the apartment and they were planning to move out.”

“Normally, they don't talk to each other,” Wang's mother, Jinshuang “Jane” Liu, told the station. “They don't have much interaction.”

The tearful mother said her only son was supposed to come home to Fremont for the summer, go on a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park and celebrate his 21st birthday in July. The station said the father, Charlie Wang, could only stand in the doorway, hugging his wife and uttering deep, guttural cries.

Wang, 20, and his parents immigrated to the country from China ten years ago. He graduated from Fremont Christian School and was studying computer engineering at UC Santa Barbara.

Liu called her son “the joy of the family,” someone who aced his college aptitude exams and never bragged about it.

“I wish I could go in exchange of my son's life,” she said. “I'm just heartbroken. You can't imagine for a mom.”

Cheng Yuan-hong

Hong, 20, who went by the name James, grew up in Taipei and was pursuing a degree in computer science, according to his Facebook page.

Friends said he was a hard-working and bright student who was always willing to help others.

“He would always smile at everyone he knows,” said Han Chou, who knew the victim at UC Santa Barbara.

He graduated from Lynbrook High School in San Jose. His drama teacher remembered him as a quiet student who was happy to work backstage to ensure that his classmates could shine.

“James was shy, quiet, gentle, sweet, kind and most respectful,” Laurel Cohen told the San Jose Mercury News on Monday. “Not someone who easily could engage in conversation. But I remember his earnest nature, conviction, honesty and mostly his smile; it lit up a room.”

Authorities said Hong was among the three young men found dead in Rodger's apartment.

In January, Rodger accused Hong of stealing three candles, valued at US$22, said Joyce Dudley, Santa Barbara County district attorney.

When Hong said he didn't know where the candles were, Rodger performed a citizen's arrest and called police. Sheriff's deputies found the candles on Hong's bed. He was arrested and charged with a petty theft infraction.

The strange incident was one of three contacts authorities had with Rodger before he went on the deadly rampage.

George Chen

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