Gunman kills 6 in California rampage
Santa Barbara, May 25, 2014
A 22-year-old gunman killed six people before taking his own life in a rampage that began in his apartment and cascaded across a California college town, shortly after he posted a threatening video railing against women, police said.
Elliot Rodger, the son of a Hollywood director, stabbed three people to death in his apartment before gunning down three more victims on Friday night in the town of Isla Vista near the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Rodger opened fire on bystanders as he terrorized Isla Vista in his car and on foot in a killing spree that ended when he took his life after a shootout with sheriff's deputies, police said. Authorities found three legally purchased semiautomatic guns, two Sig Sauers and a Glock, and more than 400 rounds of unspent ammunition in his car.
In a threatening YouTube video, a young man presumed by police to be Rodger bitterly complains of loneliness and rejection by women and lays out plans to kill those he believes spurned him.
"It's obviously the work of a madman," Sheriff Bill Brown told a news conference about the rampage, adding that Rodgers had been seen by a variety of health care professionals and that it was "very, very apparent he was severely mentally disturbed."
Witnesses reported seeing someone driving a black BMW through the streets and shooting at people in the beachside community where many college students live. At least 13 people were wounded, including eight who were shot.
Brown said his department had three times been in contact with Rodger prior to the killings, including once after a family member asked them to check on his welfare last month. Deputies interviewed Rodger but found him to be polite and courteous and took no further action, Brown said.
"He expressed to deputies he was having difficulties with his social life and would probably not be returning to school within the next year," Brown said, adding that deputies determined he did not meet the criteria to be held involuntarily on mental health grounds.
The son of assistant director Peter Rodger on the 2012 film "The Hunger Games," Elliot Rodger had previously gone to authorities to report a roommate had stolen some candles. Another time, he reported being the victim of an assault. Authorities said they later suspected he may have been the aggressor.
The YouTube video police were studying shows a young man who identified himself as Elliot Rodger pouring out his hatred of women who have rejected him and "popular kids," and threatening to kill people out of loneliness and sexual frustration.
"You girls have never been attracted to me. I don't know why you girls aren't attracted to me. But I will punish you all for it. It's an injustice, a crime," he said in the video, his speech punctuated by bursts of laughter.
The clip, since removed from YouTube as a violation of its policies, appeared to have been uploaded to YouTube on Friday night, shortly before the shooting. Brown said Rodger had also penned a 141-page manifesto, in addition to posting several disturbing videos. - Reuters