ISLA VISTA, Calif. - Organizers of the first paddle out for the Isla Vista murder victims in May of 2014 were amazed by how many surfers and beach-goers turned out.
"When thousands of people came, it was mind blowing," said Stephanie Schechter.
She said the University of California, Santa Barbara Surf Club posted it on Facebook to get the word out.
A small group of surfers turned out for the third annual paddle out, but Schechter was not disappointed.
She said the paddle out serves as a reminder to remember what happened to the innocent students killed in Isla Vista.
" It's important to honor the lives of the six victims because they need a voice, their voice has been stopped. For their parents and friends it's important to see that we still remember them," said Schechter.
The former co-captain of the UCSB Surf Club said she lived in a campus dorm in 2014, but on the night of the stabbing and shooting deaths, she was watching an improv show at in Isla Vista at Embarcadero Hall.
"Toward the end of show, we are on lock down," she said. They told us there was a gunman outside.
"It was awful to leave and find out what happened. It was a nightmare," said Schechter.
Soon all the survivors will have graduated.
She hopes future students will learn about George Chen, David Wang, James Hong who were stabbed to death, and Katherine Cooper, Veronika Weiss and Christopher Martinez who were shot to death by a disturbed Isla Vista resident and city college drop out who committed suicide when officers located him.
Schechter, who graduates next month, said, "Those six people made big impressions on so many people. it's important to keep their memory going."