ISLA VISTA, CA – Tragic news unfolded in Isla Vista over the weekend as authorities responded to a heart-wrenching incident where a young man lost his life after falling from the cliffs. The victim has been identified as Benjamin Scott Schurmer, a 19-year-old student at Santa Barbara City College hailing from Ojai.
The incident, which occurred late Saturday night, prompted a swift response from fire personnel. Schurmer was found in the water approximately 40 feet below the cliffs in the 6700 block of Del Playa Drive. Despite the valiant efforts of passersby who administered CPR, Schurmer was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders.
Benjamin Scott Schurmer, affectionately known as Benny, was a second-year theater arts major at Santa Barbara City College. His passion for the arts was evident as he had taken on lead roles in school productions, including a one-act play in the spring. He had also been cast in a major role for the upcoming production of “Emma,” which was scheduled to commence rehearsals on Tuesday.
In the wake of this devastating loss, Acting Instructor Katie Laris expressed her profound sorrow, describing Benny as “one of the most positive, warm, kind, and talented people” she had ever met. His presence had a unique ability to radiate joy and warmth to all who had the privilege of knowing him.
The tragic news of Benny Schurmer’s passing sent shockwaves through the campus and his hometown of Ojai. SBCC Superintendent Erika Endrijonas conveyed the sentiments of the campus community, acknowledging that Benny would be greatly missed.
In response to this unforeseen tragedy, a GoFundMe campaign has been created by Schurmer’s family friends to support his grieving family. As of Tuesday afternoon, the page had garnered an outpouring of support, with $54,872 raised towards a target of $75,000. Friends and colleagues of the family have come together to raise funds to assist them during this unimaginable time.
Additionally, a Facebook page has also been established in Benny Schurmer’s memory to coordinate a meal train for his family, offering further support and comfort during this challenging period.
The Coroner’s Bureau is actively investigating the circumstances surrounding Benny Schurmer’s untimely passing, with the cause and manner of death still pending.
Benjamin Scott Schurmer, born on October 25, 2003, left behind a legacy of radiant presence, boundless joy, and infectious laughter. His promising acting career was cut short, but his remarkable spirit and inner light will continue to inspire those who knew him. He is survived by loving parents, three exceptional siblings, and a vast extended family, all deeply affected by this heartbreaking loss.