Isla Vista, CA: The Shooter (Elliot Rodger) posted a Youtube video outlining his targets and tactics hours before the killing spree begins. Police were asked to respond for the fourth time, yet police were too late this time. A 22 year old student (son of famous Director for the Hunter Games) went on a shooting rampage around 9:30 pm on Friday – May 23, 2014 near Santa Barbara University, in which he stabbed 3 men, shooting to death 3 more and wounding 13 others before killing himself. The rampage lasted only 10-minutes from start to finish (Crisis Response).
The rampage went down as follows:
- The rampage starts at Rodger’s apartment around 9:30 pm
- Three men were stabbed to death with multiple stab wounds in his apartment.
- He drove to a sorority house where he banged on the door. When he could not get in, he shot three women standing nearby, killing two and shot another one several times.
- He drove to a deli and fatally shot a random man.
- In an attempt to get closer to people walking, he drove down the wrong side of the road and fired several rounds.
- Pulling his gun on a female. He fired several rounds, missing her with all.
- He then drives off in another direction and trades gunfire with a sheriff’s deputy who was on foot.
- Driving off to get away from deputies, he strikes a person walking.
- He then continues to fire shots at others walking and he shoots another victim.
- Four sheriff’s deputies in a park close by engage him. He speeds away firing at them. The deputies hit his car and him, striking him in his hip.
- Rodger races off and hits a cyclist at a high rate of speed. The cyclist hits his windshield, caving it in.
- He then crashes into several parked cars. By the time the police arrived he was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot to his head
- By the end of his rampage he had killed six people, he shot and wounded eight others, he hit four others with his car and one more was injured in an undisclosed way.
Rodgers posted a Youtube video (seen by his mom before the shooting) hours before the event in which he talked about what he was about ready to do and who he was going to kill. While sitting in his car, he looks at the camera, laughing often, and says he is going to take his revenge against humanity. He talks about loneliness and frustration because “girls have never been attracted to me,” and says he is still a virgin. In the seven minute video it appears scripted as if he was in a movie and playing a part of a deranged killer.
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The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department states that they had made recent contacts with the killer on a number of occasions at the request of his family and counselors. Deputies had interviewed him three times and did not consider him a threat when requested to intervene by family and a counselor.
In April, mom had called one of her son’s counselors after seeing bizarre videos he had posted on YouTube. The counselor called a mental health service, which then called law enforcement. Deputies who showed up at Rodger’s doorstep to check on his mental health but according to officials they weren’t aware of any videos. They concluded after their visit that the well-mannered, shy young man posed no risk.
Therefore, based on the interview they had with Rodgers, they reported; him to be a “perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human”. Deputies 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. Even though their were red flags for danger the Sheriff’s department failed to see them, maybe due to a lack of training, a lack of communicating appropriate information or a lack of man power. Sheriff Brown alluded to, in his defense of their actions, a lack of training when he said, “challenges that police face in assessing the mental health of adults“.
According to California law there is a provision that permits emergency psychiatric evaluations of individuals who pose a serious threat, but that was never triggered by his mental health professional, the Sheriff’s department or family. Family members are not normally aware of this provision but law enforcement and mental health are, unless appropriate training is not being conducted. It appears, “in this case, the red flags were so big the killer’s parents had called police … and yet the system failed,” according to Mike Nelson, MS, LPC, NCC – International Speaker and Mental Health Therapist.
Mr. Nelson, Mental Health Therapist said, “There are some solutions out there, if individual or organizations are looking for them (learn more)”