• Sun
  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 4:05am
NewsWorld

US gunman who killed six in rampage is identified as Hollywood director’s son, Elliot Rodger

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 May, 2014, 11:01am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 May, 2014, 11:50am

A US man who posted a YouTube video calmly describing how he planned to gun down young women went on a rampage shortly afterward, stabbing three people to death in his apartment before fatally shooting three others elsewhere in his beach community and crashing his BWM with a fatal gunshot to the head, authorities said.

Sheriff’s officials on Saturday identified the gunman as Elliot Rodger, 22, the son of a Hollywood director. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he was killed by gunfire in two shootouts with deputies Friday night or if he killed himself.

Watch: Student witnesses describe California shooting scene

Sheriff Bill Brown called it a “chaotic, rapidly unfolding convoluted incident” that involved multiple crime scenes. Seven people remained hospitalized with serious injuries.

Police described how Rodger went from one location to another near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, firing for 10 minutes on random people. Brown said he had three legally purchased guns and more than 400 rounds of unspent ammunition in his car.

The rampage mirrored threats made on a YouTube video posted Friday night, authorities said. They were analysing the video in which Rodger sits in a car and looks at the camera, laughing often, and says he is going to take his revenge against humanity.

The young man describes loneliness and frustration because “girls have never been attracted to me,” and says he is still a virgin. The video, which is almost seven minutes long, appears scripted.

“You deserve to be annihilated — and I’ll give that to you,” Rodger said. “You never showed me any mercy and so I will show you none. You forced me to suffer all my life and now I’ll make you all suffer. I’ve waited a long time for this.”

The video was taken down Saturday with a message saying it violated the site’s terms of service.

“It’s obviously the work of a madman,” Brown said.

Earlier Saturday, Alan Shifman — a lawyer who represents Peter Rodger, one of the assistant directors on “The Hunger Games” — issued a statement saying his client believed his son, Elliot Rodger, was the shooter. It was unclear how the son would have obtained a gun. The family is “staunchly against guns” and supports gun-control laws, Shifman added.

The lawyer said the family called police several weeks ago after being alarmed by YouTube videos “regarding suicide and the killing of people” that Elliot Rodger had been posting.

Police interviewed Elliot Rodger and found him to be a “perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human,” Shifman added. Police did not find a history of guns, but did say Rodger “didn’t have a lot of friends,” had trouble making friends and didn’t have any girlfriends.

Rodger wrote in a 141-page document how he narrowly missed being found out when the officers knocked on his door. The officers left after determining he didn’t need to be locked up for mental health reasons.

Rodger expressed relief that his apartment wasn’t searched because they would have found his weapons and his writings.

Brown said he wouldn’t second-guess his officers’ decision-making.

Richard Martinez said his son Christopher Martinez, 20, was killed in the rampage. He blamed politicians and gun-rights proponents. “When will this insanity stop? ... Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, ‘Not one more,”‘ he said.

Alexander Mattera, 23, said his friend Chris Johnson was walking out of a comedy show when he was shot and stumbled into a nearby house.

“He walked into these random guys’ house bleeding,” he said.

Mattera was sitting at a bonfire with friends when at least one gunshot whizzed overhead. The friends ran for cover.

“We heard so many gunshots. It was unbelievable. I thought they were firecrackers. There had to have been at least like two guns. There were a lot of shots,” he said.

Blood was still visible on the street Saturday. The wrecked BMW remained, its windshield smashed in and its driver’s door wide open.

“This is almost the kind of event that’s impossible to prevent and almost impossible to predict,” University of California President Janet Napolitano, the former US Secretary of Homeland Security, told reporters.

The Rodger family is not ready to speak publicly yet, but wants to cooperate fully with police, public agencies and “any other person who feels that they need to help prevent these situations from ever occurring again,” Shifman said.

“My client’s mission in life will be to try to prevent any such tragedies from ever happening again,” he said. “This country, this world, needs to address mental illness and the ramifications from not recognising these illnesses.”

Share

More on this story

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
16

This article is now closed to comments

A Kuro
Bad karma in the US when you can't even find person left who's not insane and loves violence. After decades of rampaging abroad with their wars everywhere no wonder the violence level in the US is increasing too. You reap what you sow.
mankydanky
Expect to see this in China with 30m males unable to find spouses..
Daniel Lee
Something really seriously wrong with US society. It has become a paranoid, sick, immoral, greedy and extremely violent country.
Cdchristian
The anti American sentiment in these responses is a bit ignorant. Yes, we need stricter gun legislation in the US, but getting rid of them will not happen. It is part of the American character to rebel and feel that we can "take care of ourselves." The true crises and through line with all of these incidents is young men in need of mental health assistance. There is a stigma against reporting or accessing mental health treatment in the US, and this is especially evident among makes. Simply regulation: "no guns" will not cute an epidemic of debilitating machismo.
Max Diethelm
The US is a very violent and very unequal country. Apart from spreading death and destruction abroad, within the US violent crimes is a way of life.
allan94
after sandy hook's horror, the usa decided that life should just go on with no change. While everyone else in the world just cannot understand the inertia. i suppose this is the time for "i told u so" and "serves u right, america". what an incredibly ignorant AND stupid country. USA is No 1 again, No 1 in senseless shootings.
The mantra is "guns dont kill people, people kill people". How stupid can u get. If there are no guns, this idiot will only be able to do a drive-by stabbing! "its not a guns issue, its a mental health issue"....If that is true, pls ask yourself why are there so many mentally sick people in USA?? (maybe there are really a lot of mentally sick people in the usa, that explains the obsession with the kardashians..)
well, america, we told u so....serves u right. May the shootings continue in your dumb country for 10000 years.
allan94
actually the rest of us dont really care if america self implodes....for some of us, we might even relish it.
what we are annoyed with is when americans try to explain to us that this is their "rights" and they "need to defend themselves", and that we "wont understand their version of freedoms"....as if this kind of voodoo **** is something intellectual and legit.
So, feel free to go ahead and shoot each other , carry arms openly in bars and restaurants, "stand your ground" , shoot schoolkids in the head, etc.....just pls stop telling us this is a normal way of life.
Paradox314
allan94, I hope you get some medicine, some psychological counseling, a bit of liberal education and grow up! Your comments are pathetically ignorant, insensitive and outright violent. I'm not opposed to your comments because I'm American - I'm not. I'm a civilized, compassionate adult human being - and I'm here to let you know that your comments exhibit a great selfish ignorant violence. The kind of tragedy outlined in this article happens all over the world, and wherever and whenever these things happen, they make us all a little poorer. It's nothing to do with one nation's pride against another's. The fact that you choose to interpret it this way proves only what a tragically low level of emotional intelligence you have thus far developed in life. Please get help for God's sake!!!
M Miyagi
Why should anyone be surprised about the level of gun violence in the US? In a heavily armed country with a lot of loonies around, any kind of reasons is enough to spark a massacre. It's only natural.
allan94
my dear paradox (very apt moniker for u), you are exactly demonstrating the kind of behaviour exhibited by americans...as u are unabashedly an american.
trying to preach to the whole world, just like GW bush telling the whole world that usa has to save the world from wmd, etc..
u know, your country is sickl, and also much sicker than most countries in the world. if u r so caring, go home and help your country improve...! USA has senseless shootings, institutional racism, morbid obesity, high levels of homelessness and alcoholism, cyber spying (should i go on?), and you want to save me? save your energies for your homeland. Go home and make a difference....dont try to preach to us in HK....we r doing fine!

Pages

Login

SCMP.com Account

or