George Chen, who was studying computer science, was a graduate from Leland High School in San Jose, Calif., and one of six people killed.
Family friend Sherry Shih told the San Francisco Chronicle that Chen was a gentle soul who had a fondness for working with children.
Shih said Chen was a ”very good kid, very smart,” and that his parents are in a ”very, very sad mood” and unable to speak about what happened.
Chen's parents visited a makeshift memorial on Monday night and added their names in chalk to the sidewalk.
They told KABC-TV that the United States needs tougher gun laws to avert another mass killing.
"We would die a hundred times, a thousand times, but we don't want our kids to get hurt," Chen's mother, Kelly Wang, said as she spoke through tears.
"This shouldn't happen to any family."
The man identified as the killer, Elliot Rodger, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after a shootout with police.
Before the rampage, Rodger left a trail of YouTube videos ranting against women and complaining that he was a lonely and frustrated virgin.
The university planned a memorial Tuesday afternoon at Harder Stadium on the campus for the victims.
_ with files from The Associated Press
Also on HuffPost