SANTA BARBARA -- UC Santa Barbara has canceled Tuesday classes and is preparing for an afternoon memorial service in the aftermath of a Friday night killing spree near campus that left six of its students dead.
"This is a time for mourning and grieving, and for consoling and supporting each other," UC President Janet Napolitano wrote in a letter to the university community. "It will take time for our UCSB colleagues to recover and heal from this."
The memorial service begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Harder Stadium.
After fatally stabbing his roommates and later shooting others as he drove through Isla Vista, where many UC Santa Barbara students live, mass-murder suspect Elliot Rodger shot himself, police say.
The 22-year-old Santa Barbara City College Student shot or intentionally rammed with his car more than a dozen others in the Friday night attack, according to police; Napolitano said nine of the wounded were UC students.
Among the dead are three UC Santa Barbara students from the Bay Area: Cheng Yuan "James" Hong, 20, and George Chen, 19, both from San Jose, and Weihan "David" Wang, 20, of Fremont. Hong and Chen were listed on the lease as Rodger's roommates. All three were killed in the apartment.
According to their Facebook pages, Hong was a 2012 graduate of Lynbrook High School. Chen graduated the same year from Leland High. Wang was briefly a student at American High School in Fremont before he transferred to a private school, according to James Morris, superintendent of the Fremont Unified School District.
Sophomore Victor Espinosa-Rosiles, of Oakland, said he met up with friends Friday night across the hall from Rodger's apartment, which was the site -- they later discovered -- of the first horrific crime scene.
"That's what freaked us out, that we could have run into him on our way in and his way out," he said.
Espinosa-Rosiles didn't know anyone injured or killed in the spree, but said students were helping one another cope with the tragedy -- which, he stressed, could have happened anywhere.
"The community's pretty tight knit," he said. "That's probably just the biggest thing -- just talking with each other."
The campus's health services department helped students get through the day Tuesday with "dog hugs" from therapy animals. A local Aikido center invited Santa Barbara students to practice the Japanese "art of peace," meditate or just observe for free.
The student government erected a memorial wall on Tuesday and, to make sure the grieving knew where to find help, posted a statement with information about counseling services.
"As we move forward, we must hold fast to the love and compassion we have for each other," the student-leaders wrote. "Above all we seek to honor and memorialize those lost, support those around us, and heal as a community."
UC will lower all of its flags to half-staff through June 1, Napolitano said.
"During this terrible time for our UC community, I ask that you join me in the belief that the process of healing and reflection we will go through in the coming days will draw us closer as a university community," she wrote. "Together, we will get through this."
Lawmakers reacted to the shooting by announcing plans Tuesday for a bill to create a "gun violence restraining order."
The bill would establish a system in which concerned relatives, intimate partners or friends can notify police about someone showing a propensity toward violence, so police can investigate and seek a judge's order to seize that person's firearms and prevent any purchases.
Current law lets that process start only when therapists notify police that a client is at risk of committing a violent act. Family members can call police, but if no crime has been committed, or the individual doesn't meet criteria for an involuntary civil commitment to mental health treatment, there isn't anything police can do about that person's firearms.
"When someone is in crisis, the people closest to them are often the first to spot the warning signs," Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, said in a news release. "Parents, like the mother who tried to intervene, deserve an effective tool they can act on to help prevent these tragedies."
Skinner will co-author the bill with Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, and state Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara. "The tragic incident in my hometown of Isla Vista is not a result of gun laws failing," Williams said. "Rather, it is a horrific example of how our mental health laws and gun control laws are not working together."
Also, state Senate Democrats will present a package of mental health policy and budget proposals Wednesday in Sacramento "to address mental healthcare within California's criminal justice system, recidivism and public safety," according to a release from Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's office. "The package includes a proposal to strengthen and apply statewide protocols to help frontline law enforcement identify signs of mental illness."
Staff writers Bruce Newman, Paul Burgarino and Josh Richman contributed to this story. Follow Katy Murphy at Twitter.com/katymurphy.