A previous version of this story incorrectly identified a victim. Veronika Elizabeth Weiss, 19, was shot outside the Alpha Phi sorority house near the UCSB campus.
ISLA VISTA, Calif. — The parents of the young man suspected of killing six people in a rampage near a Santa Barbara university raced to find him after being tipped off by his therapist of an email that presaged what was about to happen, according to media reports.
Family friend Simon Astaire told the Los Angeles Times that 22-year-old Elliot Rodger's therapist called his mother, Chin, at 9:17 pm Friday night. The therapist told Chin Rodger to look for her son's email, which included his lengthy manifesto of the terror that was about to unfold. It was 13 minutes before the killing started.
After reaching her ex-husband, Hollywood director Peter Rodger, the parents drove towards the scene of the carnage, the LA Times reported. Astaire was speaking on behalf of the family, the newspaper reported. CNN also reported speaking to an unnamed family friend about the futile search by Rodger's parents.
Santa Barbara police identified Rodger on Saturday as the man who allegedly stabbed and shot several people near the University of California-Santa Barbara.
Rodger stabbed to death three roommates at his apartment late Friday night before starting his shooting spree, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown. The stabbing victims, all UC Santa Barbara students, were: Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, George Chen, 19, and Weihan Wang, 20, according to the sheriff's office.
On Sunday, Brown reflected on Rodger's mental state in an interview with CNN.
"If you look at tragedies like we have experienced, the common denominator in almost all of these mass murder situations does appear to be people with severe mental illness who are either untreated or undertreated, who have access to firearms, and then snap and go off and commit these terrible, terrible crimes," Brown told CNN, adding he believes there is a general lack of resources in community mental health treatment.
A neighbor of Elliot Rodger's told CNN Sunday afternoon that he often invited the young man over to socialize with friends, but that Rodger seldom talked when he did so. Although the group often included young women, the neighbor said it didn't appear Rodger wanted to talk to members of either sex, despite all the hate in his manifesto about being ignored by women. The neighbor was not identified by name and only the back of his head was broadcast.
Rodger was able to convince officers interviewing him that he was not a danger to himself or others during an April 30 welfare check requested by his family, Brown said. Officers concluded he was "polite, courteous" and downplayed any difficulties. Rodger told officers he had problems in his social life.
Authorities did not find a history of guns, but did say Rodger had trouble making friends.
Meanwhile, Rodger detailed his attack in an extensive 141-page manifesto about, among other things, "the Day of Retribution." The document has been circulated around the Internet.
"The first people I would have to kill are my two housemates, to secure the entire apartment for myself as my personal torture and killing chamber," Rodger wrote. "After that, I will start luring people into my apartment, knock them out with a hammer, and slit their throats. I will torture some of the good looking people before I kill them, assuming that the good looking ones had the best sex lives."
Later he wrote: "The Second Phase will represent my War on Women. I will punish all females for the crime of depriving me of sex. They have starved me of sex for my entire youth, and gave that pleasure to other men. In doing so, they took many years of my life away. I cannot kill every single female on earth, but I can deliver a devastating blow that will shake all of them to the core of their wicked hearts. I will attack the very girls who represent everything I hate in the female gender: The hottest sorority of UCSB."
Rodger wrote that Alpha Phi Sorority had the most beautiful girls but that the members were "spoiled, heartless, wicked" women who would likely reject him.
"I will sneak into their house at around 9:00 p.m. on the Day of Retribution, just before all of the partying starts, and slaughter every single one of them with my guns and knives," Rodger wrote of the sorority. "If I have time, I will set their whole house on fire. Then we shall see who the superior one really is!"
Rodger then discussed the multiple crime scenes he would leave behind in his drive-by shooting spree.
"The Final Phase of the Day of Retribution will be my ultimate showdown in the streets of Isla Vista," he wrote. "I will then make my way to Del Playa, splattering as many of my enemies as I can with the SUV, and shooting anyone I don't splatter."
Rodger chose May 24, the last weekend of spring semester, because he wanted to hurt people before school ended and before students returned to their hometowns, according to the manifesto.
He said he planned to kill himself after the attack because he didn't want to "suffer being captured and sent to prison."
Rodger also wrote that he narrowly missed being found out when officers knocked on his door. He expressed relief that his apartment wasn't searched because officers would have found his weapons and his writings.
When recounting his thinking about whether he should kill his father, Rodger expressed a sliver of acknowledgment that his plot, which included killing other family members, was wrong.
"I didn't want it to come to this," Rodger said. "I desperately wanted a way out." He then immediately talks about his mother giving him a new car, a BMW coupe.
Rodger's Facebook page and a Web diary titled "Elliot Rodger's Official Blog" identified him as a Santa Barbara City College student and Isla Vista resident.
Alan Shifman, attorney for Peter Rodger, assistant director of The Hunger Games series, said the family called authorities several weeks ago after being alarmed by YouTube videos "regarding suicide and the killing of people."
In a video posted on YouTube on Friday that authorities said was a clear sign of "premeditated mass murder," Rodger complains of rejection by women.
"For the last eight years of my life, since I hit puberty, I've been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires, all because girls have never been attracted to me," he says in the rambling video titled "Elliot Rodger's retribution" posted just hours before the attacks.
Rodger was, from a young age, emotionally disturbed, particularly since the divorce of his parents when he was in first grade, family friends told The New York Times.
Patrick Connors, 23, a former classmate at Crespi Carmelite High School, a Catholic school for boys in Los Angeles, told the paper Rodger had left school before graduation. He said that Rodger was treated by his classmates as an oddball and that students mocked him and played jokes on him. He said once when Rodger fell asleep in his seat, classmates taped his head to his desk.
"We said right from the get-go that that kid was going to lose it someday and just freak out," Connors told The New York Times. "Everyone made fun of him and stuff."
After slaying his roommates Friday, Rodger went to a sorority house and knocked loudly on the door, Brown said. No one answered. He then shot three women outside the house, killing two and injuring the third, the sheriff said.
Twice deputies engaged him in gunfire, the first time wounding him in the hip as he drove, Brown said. Rodger fired on random people at multiple other locations nearby over a 10-minute period, police said. The rampage ended after the young man exchanged fire with deputies and hit a bicyclist before crashing into parked cars.
"It would appear he took his own life at this point," Brown said. Rodger had three semiautomatic handguns — a Glock 34 and two Sig Sauer P226s — as well as more than 400 rounds of ammo when he died, Brown added.
Thirteen people were injured — eight from gunshot wounds, four from being hit by the suspect's car and one who suffered a minor injury whose exact cause was not clear yet, Brown said.
On Saturday, families of Rodger's victims continued to grieve. A sobbing Richard Martinez said his son, Christopher Ross Martinez, 20, was killed in the shooting.
"Our family has a message for every parent out there: You don't think it will happen to your child until it does," Martinez said. "His death has left our family broken."
Police confirmed Martinez was shot at the IV Deli Mart in Isla Vista, the community next to the university.
Officials also identified two other people among the six killed Friday: Veronika Elizabeth Weiss, 19, and Katherine Breann Cooper, 22, both shot outside the Alpha Phi sorority house near the UCSB campus.
Alcindor reported from New York.
Contributing: Jayne O'Donnell in McLean, Va. and the Associated Press