(KNBC-TV) The gunman in a fatal shooting spree in Santa Monica tried to legally buy a firearm in 2011 but was denied by the Justice Department, the city’s police chief announced Thursday evening at a news conference that revealed more details about the events that led up to the deadly rampage.

Investigators believe John Zawahri, who suffered from mental illness, built a semi-automatic rifle capable of firing .223-caliber ammunition using parts he bought from various sources around the country, Santa Monica Police Sgt. Richard Lewis said.

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.