Santa Barbara identify Isla Vista shooter as Elliot Rodger | News | DW | 25.05.2014
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Santa Barbara identify Isla Vista shooter as Elliot Rodger

Police have confirmed the identity of a student who stabbed three people to death and then fatally shot three more in a bustling California college town. Elliot Rodger was the son of a Hollywood director.

Late Saturday, police confirmed that Rodger's father, Peter, served as assistant director of "The Hunger Games." Rodger killed six people and injured 13, seven of whom remain hospitalized, before shooting himself after Friday‘s rampage near University of California Santa Barbara.

On Saturday, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told a press conference that Rodger, 22, had "repeatedly stabbed" his three male roommates prior to the shootings. Next, he shot at three women from across a street, killing a 19-year-old and a 22-year-old, Brown said. Driving a black BMW, Rodger found his next victim, a 20-year-old student named Christopher Martinez, shooting him dead, too.

After exchanging fire, police found Rodger, a student at nearby Santa Barbara City College, dead in the BMW with a gunshot wound to the head. It was initially unclear whether the shot was self-inflicted or from sheriff's deputies, who twice exchanged fire with the gunman, once shooting him in the hip. Police eventually determined that Rodger had shot himself and recovered three 9mm semiautomatic handguns from the BMW - all legally purchased and registered - along with more than 400 unused rounds of ammunition.

Missed chances

On YouTube, Rodger speaks of a "day of retribution" for his life of "loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires": "I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up blonde slut I see inside there," he says. "All those girls that I've desired so much, they have all rejected me and looked down upon me as an inferior man." During his rampage, Rodger attempted to enter a university sorority house.

Family lawyer Alan Shifman called Rodger a "highly functional Asperger's Syndrome child" who had received treatment from "multiple" professionals and said that the student's parents had called police weeks ago to report online videos "regarding suicide and the killing of people." Police followed up with a visit.

On Saturday, Sheriff Brown said that since July 2013 police had had "contacts" with Rodger on three occasions before Friday's killings.

"He expressed to deputies he was having difficulties with his social life and would probably not be returning to school within the next year," Sheriff Brown said, adding that police had determined that Rodger did not meet the criteria for them to hold him involuntarily on mental health grounds.

In a 141-page manifesto he left behind, Rodger wrote about the visit from the police, expressing relief that they had not searched his apartment, where they would have found his weapons and his writings.

mkg/hc (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

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