The man suspected of killing six people in a rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara, before also dying of a gunshot wound was identified as Elliot Rodger, the son of an assistant director on The Hunger Games, according to a family attorney.
“The Rodger family offers our deepest compassion and sympathies to the families involved in this terrible tragedy,” the family said in a statement issued through their lawyer, Alan Shifman. “We are experiencing the most inconceivable pain and our hearts go out to everyone involved.”
According to Sheriff Bill Brown, Rodger stabbed three males in his apartment before taking to the streets in a BMW, fatally shooting two female university students in front of a sorority and a third male student inside a deli. Rodger also hit two bicyclists with his car and seriously injured others with gunfire before the BMW came to a crashing halt.
After a shootout with deputies, the 22-year-old was found dead with a gunshot to the head, apparently self-inflicted.
Parents Voiced Concern
Rodger had struggled to make friends, the family’s lawyer tells ABC.
“There was an incident probably a year and a half ago where he was – he fell from a balcony at a party or was thrown off of it,” says Shifman. “I think he was probably a victim, from my understanding, of bullying throughout his life. … I’m sure that had played a role in the terrible consequences from last night.”
His parents had become concerned about him in recent weeks and had reported Rodger’s disturbing YouTube videos to police, says Shifman, who represents Rodger’s father, Peter Rodger, a second unit director on the 2012 blockbuster. Peter Rodger also wrote and directed Oh My God, a 2009 documentary in which celebrities including Hugh Jackman and Seal ponder the question, “What is God?”
Contacted by Police on April 30
Elliot Rodger was a student at Santa Barbara City College, living in an apartment near the University of California campus. At the request of concerned relatives, deputies made a “welfare call” on him April 30 but “determined he did not meet the criteria for an involuntary mental health hold,” Sheriff Brown told a news conference Saturday evening.
The deputies found Rodger “shy” and “timid” as the man spoke of his personal problems, telling them he had difficulties with his social life and wasn’t planning to return to school next year, says Brown.
Rodger’s final video was posted to YouTube hours before the rampage, promising “retribution” against women, whom he blamed for his “loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires.” In the six-minute clip, he sits in his car and complains women had left him a frustrated 22-year-old virgin.
“Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men, but never to me,” Rodger states.
“It’s an injustice … I’m the perfect guy, and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman.”
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