US & Canada

Tributes to six Santa Barbara victims

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Image caption The victims of Friday's Santa Barbara massacre (top left to botton right): Weihan Wang, Veronika Weiss, Christopher Michaels-Martinez, Katherine Cooper, Cheng Hong and George Chen

On Friday, six people were killed and 13 were wounded when a gunman stabbed three of his housemates and then began shooting at several sites around the California city of Santa Barbara.

All of those killed were students at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).

Their families and friends have been talking about their loved ones.

Veronika Weiss

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A first-year student at the university, Veronika Weiss, 19, was from Westlake Village, where she was the member of four high school sport teams - cross country, baseball, swimming and water polo.

Weiss's father, Bob, told the Los Angeles Times that his daughter still earned high grades despite her busy sport schedule, specialising in maths.

"She wanted to be a financial wizard, and use her high aptitude with complicated math," he said.

"There was never a day I wasn't proud of her. Never a single day," he said.

Weiss was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority at UCSB and was walking by another sorority house when she was killed.

Her father told CBS News they had used a "find my phone" mobile phone app when Weiss did not answer their calls, and realised it was at the scene of one of the shootings.

Weihan Wang

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Weihan Wang, 20, was the "joy" of his family, his mother Jinshuang Liu, told local media.

Wang, who went by the name David, had graduated from Fremont Christian High School in California's Bay Area in 2012.

He was studying computer engineering at UCSB and was planning with his other roommates to move to a new apartment.

Ms Liu told broadcaster NBC her only child was about to return home for the summer. The family had planned to take a holiday to Yellowstone National Park and later celebrate his 21st birthday.

He was planning to start a business with his friends, she said, and was a considerate young man who did very well on his college aptitude exams but never bragged about it.

Wang's father was unable to speak, sobbing as local media interviewed his wife.

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

Christopher Michaels-Martinez

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Christopher Michaels-Martinez, 20, was studying English literature at UCSB and hoped to spent time studying abroad in London.

He also intended to attend law school after university.

His father, Richard Martinez, pulled out a photo of his son as a small child in a Chicago Cubs baseball uniform at Saturday press conference, saying his family used to call him a "mini-Sammy Sosa," referring to the former Cubs star.

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Media captionVictim's father: "Not one more"

"Chris was a really great kid," Mr Martinez said. "Ask anyone who knew him. His death has left our family lost and broken."

Michaels-Martinez served as residential adviser at a dormitory last year, and was at a deli when he was killed.

Friends say he was the kind of person who would welcome strangers into his home.

"Why did Chris die?" his father shook as he spoke to reporters. "Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA [gun rights advocates]."

"They talk about gun rights. What about Chris's right to live?

Cheng Hong

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Cheng Hong, 20, who went by the name James, grew up in Taiwan and was pursuing a degree in computer science at UCSB.

He had graduated from Lynbrook High School in San Jose in 2012.

Known as quiet but friendly, friends said he was hard-working and helped others shine.

"James was shy, quiet, gentle, sweet, kind and most respectful," Laurel Cohen, a drama teacher at Lynbrook 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."

Katherine Cooper

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Katherine Cooper, 22, known as Katie, was about to graduate from UCSB with a degree in art history.

Her friend Courtney Benjamin said Cooper was outgoing and loved painting.

Another childhood friend told the Los Angeles Times Cooper was known for her energy and her quick running speed.

Originally from Chino Hills, California, Cooper graduated from Ruben S Ayala High School in 2010.

Andrew Notohamiprodjo, who was Cooper's ballroom dance teacher, said she she had planned to stay in Santa Barbara another year after graduating.

She was also a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority.

Her family attended St Paul the Apostle Catholic church in Chino Hills, the parish's priest Father Mike Gilsenan said, and the community was grieving over her death.

"How do you say goodbye to a 22-year-old? Just how? In the prime of her life," Mr Gilsenan told a local broadcaster.

George Chen

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When he was not studying computer science at the university, George Chen, 19, was passionate about working with children, a family friend told local media, volunteering as a camp counsellor

His parents visited a makeshift memorial for their son on Monday, telling broadcaster ABC they were in support of tougher gun laws.

"We would die a hundred times, a thousand times, but we don't want our kids to get hurt," Kelly Wang, his mother, said.

"This shouldn't happen to any family. This should be the last one in the United States."

Chen graduated from Leland High School in San Jose and was originally from Ottawa, Ontario.

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