ISLA VISTA (CBS SF) — An Alamo resident and college freshman is recovering in a hospital after being struck and seriously injured in a violent rampage near the University of California at Santa Barbara campus on Friday night that left six dead and more than a dozen injured.
Nick Pasichuke was riding his skateboard with friends in Isla Vista near UCSB on Friday night when 22-year-old Elliot Rodger rammed into him with his car, according to a statement from the University of the Pacific, where Pasichuke just finished his freshman year and is a member of the men’s water polo team.
He was taken to a hospital with serious injuries and remained hospitalized today, according to the statement.
“We are extremely relieved that Nick is going to be able to pull through this tragedy, but we know he has a long road of recovery,” said UOP head water polo coach James Graham.
“Our heart goes out to the families of the victims of this tragedy. Nick is a strong young man, and he’ll have the full support of myself, the team and the university as he makes his way back,” Graham said.
Since news of Pasichuke’s injuries broke, family, friends and teammates have taken to Twitter to express their support for the San Ramon Valley High School graduate nicknamed “Cheeks,” using the hashtag .PrayforCheeks to share well wishes.
Pasichuke was reportedly visiting friends in Isla Vista on Friday night when he was one of more than a dozen people injured during Rodger’s murderous rampage.
Authorities said Rodger stabbed his three roommates to death and fatally shot three more students.
Santa Barbara County sheriff’s officials said the killer’s three roommates were also from the Bay Area — 20-year-old Cheng “James” Hong and 19-year-old George Chen, both of San Jose, and 20-year-old Weihan “David” Wang of Fremont.
Students at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, where Hong graduated in 2012, observed a moment of silence in his honor Tuesday and grief counselors were made available to speak with students.
A San Jose Unified School District spokeswoman said Class of 2012 alumni from Leland High School, where Chen was a student, may also be planning a candlelight vigil in his memory.
Classes at UCSB were cancelled Tuesday and an on-campus memorial service was planned for later Tuesday afternoon to pay tribute to the victims.
Additional memorials are planned throughout the state and in the Bay Area Tuesday. UC President Janet Napolitano has ordered flags at all UC facilities to be lowered this week.
“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 said. “Together, we will get through this.”
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