Richard Martinez's 20-year-old son, Christopher, was one of seven people killed in a drive-by shooting near U.C. Santa Barbara on Friday

By K.c. Blumm
May 24, 2014 07:40 PM

The father of one of seven people killed when a man went on rampage in Santa Barbara, California, spoke out at an emotional news conference.

“Our son Chris and six others are dead,” Richard Martinez told reporters Saturday as he fought back tears. “Our family has a message for every parent out there. You don’t think it’ll happen to your child until it does.”

His wavering voice filled with anger, he added, “Chris was a really great kid. Ask anyone who knew him. His death has left our family lost and broken.”

Elliot Rodger, the son of an assistant director on The Hunger Games, is suspected of stabbing three people to death in an apartment and fatally shooting three more while driving near the University of California, Santa Barbara, before also dying of a gunshot wound.

Rodger’s parents had become worried about him in recent weeks and had reported his disturbing YouTube videos to police, says an attorney representing Rodger’s father, Peter.

“Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven irresponsible politicians and the NRA,” Martinez said. “They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’s right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say ‘Stop this madness, we don’t have to live like this’? Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, not one more.”