right to own and carry firearms, saying responsible gun owners should not be punished for mass shootings.
Robert Johnson, a 21-year-old UCSB student, said he first noticed trouble after a car drove past him at a busy Isla Vista intersection and he then heard "popping noises" that he originally mistook for firecrackers or the car backfiring.
"Then the sound came again, and by that point it had pulled up in front of a convenience store deli, and someone in the car was firing into a crowd of about eight, 10 people that were gathered in front of the store," he said.
"Everyone that was being fired upon, they all jumped and scrambled to run inside the store," he said.
The car had darkly tinted windows and the occupant was not visible, Johnson said.
College student Brad Martin told a UCSB student newspaper that his girlfriend was "absolutely hysterical" after being approached by the gunman with a weapon she initially was not sure was real.
"She said the next second he raised it up to her face ... and she turned around and started running," Martin told the Daily Nexus. "That's when she heard 'bang, bang, bang' right behind her as she was running."
The incident was the latest mass shooting in the United States, where schools, shopping malls and military bases have been scenes of such crimes.
In December 2012, 20 children and six adults were killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, six months after a gunman killed 14 people in a Colorado movie theater.
The deadliest U.S. mass shooting in modern times was in 2007, when a student at Virginia Tech killed 32 people in a shooting spree.