Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez is one of the victims of Friday’s Isla Vista shooting. Michaels-Martinez is in the news because his father has used the public spotlight his son’s tragedy has brought him, to speak out against gun violence.
On Friday evening, May 23, Elliot Rodger left his home armed with the intent of targeting women, and others, on or near the University of California Santa Barbara. His self-described goal was to get “retribution” for his years of being spurned by women, and in the process he killed six innocent people and himself. One of these victims is 20-year-old Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, whose father has come out since the attack calling for better gun control laws.
Here’s what you need to know about Michaels-Martinez:
1. He Was a Sophomore and a Former RA
Michaels-Martinez was a 20-year-old sophomore at UC Santa Barbara. His parents told the LA Times that he was planning on becoming a lawyer and would soon be going abroad to London.
As well as an avid reader, Michaels-Martinez is also remembered as an impressive athlete who played soccer, football, basketball. The picture above, given to the press by Christopher’s father, is of him as a child.
2. He Was Given CPR By Someone Who Knew Him
Security camera footage of the scene when Michaels-Martinez was killed revealed a person on the scene attempting to help him. The girl, 19-year-old Alyssa Hopper, was standing near him in the Isla Vista deli when the gunman open fired. She told NBC Los Angeles that she attempted to preformed CPR on him when she realized:
I was giving him CPR, looked down and recognized his face. He was the first person I met at freshman orientation.
3. His Father Has Become a Gun-Control Activist
Richard Martinez, the father of Christopher, has spoken out in the few days since his sons death, with a impassioned message about the importance of gun control. The Guardian quotes Martinez as saying:
My kid died because nobody responded to what occurred at Sandy Hook. Those parents lost little kids. It’s bad enough that I lost my 20-year-old, but I had 20 years with my son. That’s all I’ll ever have but those people lost their children at six and seven years old. How do you think they feel? Who’s talking to them now? Who’s doing anything for them now?
Martinez told the LA Times he is also trying to meet with the father of his son’s killer to work toward preventing attacks like this. He told the Times, “I lost my son. He lost his son. We have that in common. We want, if possible, that the deaths of our son and his son should mean something.”
4. Michaels-Martinez Was the Last Victim Killed
After fatally shooting two women on the UCSB campus, Rodger then headed to the Isla Vista Deli where he open fired into the store hitting Michaels-Martinez. LAist reports that he was the last victim before Rodger killed himself.
5. 6 Others Died in the Attack, Including the Shooter
Christopher was only one of 6 innocent people killed on Friday. The first victims were the three people in Rodger’s house, 20-year-old Cheng Yuan Hong, 20-year-old Weihan Wang, and 19-year-old George Chen. Later on Friday evening, Rodger headed to the UCSB campus where he attempted to carry out his goal of killing students in sororities. After banging on the door of one sorority house, Rodger then shot and killed 19-year-old Veronika Weiss, and 22-year-old Katie Cooper. Cooper was only weeks away from graduating with a degree in art history.