Santa Monica shooting: 'Dr. Quinn's Chad Allen Lazzari describes scene
"Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" and "My Two Dads" alum Chad Allen Lazzari was studying for a final when he and other students at Santa Monica College in western Los Angeles heard gunshots on Friday, June 7.
Five people were killed and others were injured in the shooting. An unidentified gunman fired shots in the area around noon, spurring police to rush to the scene and put the school on lockdown. They killed the suspected shooter in a gunfight, while another suspect was detained and has not been identified. Lazzari, a 39-year-old actor and psychology student, told OTRC.com's parent company, KABC Television that he was in the library at the time of the shooting.
"I was studying for my biology final and as I looked out the window, I could see kids looking backwards and running," he said. "So I knew something was going on. I got up and started heading towards the front of the library and that's when we heard a long 'bang' that sounded like a shotgun or a small bomb and then a few repetitive gunshots after that."
"Kids were panicking"
Lazzari said he did not see injured people or the shooter. He also said he assisted fellow students.
"I headed back towards the rear exits and helped funnel people out as best as possible and stay calm," he added. "And I was just on campus right now and as I came out, helped what seemed like a SWAT team figure out how to get to the other side of the field, the football field."
"It got pretty scary," he said. "As soon as people realized there was gunshots and it was real, there was immediately like, a lot of panic. One of the doors wouldn't open, so a lot of kids were panicking against a locked door and funneled around to the other side. Just kept saying, 'Everybody stay calm, we're OK,' headed to the exit."
The actor is best known for his role as Matthew Cooper on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," which featured main star Jane Seymour and aired between 1993 and 1998. He also played Zach Nichols on the sitcom "My Two Dads" between 1989 and 1990. In recent years, he has appeared on episodes of shows such as "Dexter" and "CSI: Miami."
Lazzari told OTRC.com via phone, after the shooting, that he began studying psychology at Santa Monica College two years ago. He plans to attend UCLA in the fall and continue studying for his bachelor's degree. He said his biology final was his last test and was supposed to take place on Friday. Santa Monica College's Facebook page states that all finals scheduled that day have been canceled.
"All my stuff is still in the library," Lazzari told OTRC.com.
(Note: Local police previously reportedly that six people were killed in the shooting.)