Friday, December 9 , 2016, 6:29 pm | Fair 61º


Local News

Gunman in Isla Vista Shooting Rampage Described as ‘Severely Mentally Disturbed’

Santa Barbara City College confirms Elliot Rodger was a sometime student but had completed no classes since 2011

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Authorities confirmed Saturday evening that a young man named Elliot Rodger was the “mad man” who killed six people and injured many more Friday night in Isla Vista.

Rodger’s name as the likely suspect first emerged with a YouTube video — “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution” — that he posted Friday.

The chilling video, which shows Rodger sitting in the driver’s seat of a car, talking directly to the camera, is a six-minute diatribe full of his anger and frustration at being rebuffed by women in Isla Vista.

In the video, which quickly went viral on the Internet, he pledges to slaughter women — especially those who are sorority members — to take his “revenge” and “retribution.”

As the video opens, Rodger says, “This is my last video. It has all come down to this. Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day in which I will have my revenge against humanity, against you all.”

When asked directly about the video and its connection to the rampage, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said at a news conference early Saturday that “it would appear that that is connected to this crime.”

He went further Saturday evening, saying that Rodger was the person responsible for the mass murders.

Rodger was the son of Peter Rodger, a Hollywood director who worked on the Hunger Games film, among others. The BBC News reported Saturday that the elder Rodger’s attorney, Alan Shifman, said the “family believes the child was the perpetrator.”

Alan Shifman, the family attorney for LiChin and Peter Rodger, whose son, Elliot Rodger, allegedly killed six people in Isla Vista on Friday night, speaks to reporters outside the family's home in Woodland Hills on Saturday. (Los Angeles Times photo)
Alan Shifman, the family attorney for LiChin and Peter Rodger, whose son, Elliot Rodger, allegedly killed six people in Isla Vista on Friday night, speaks to reporters outside the family's home in Woodland Hills on Saturday. (Los Angeles Times photo)

According to the report, Shifman said Rodger had Asperger’s syndrome, had trouble making friends and had been receiving professional help. He said the family was cooperating with authorities and had contacted police about their son’s “recent posts on YouTube” ... “regarding suicide and the killing of people.”

Rodger, who died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after exchanging fire with sheriff’s deputies, drove a late-model black BMW 328i through Isla Vista’s central business area, leaving a trail of carnage behind.

Pictures of Rodger on his Facebook page show him behind the wheel of a similar black BMW, and indicated he was from Calabasas on the western edge of the San Fernando Valley.

Santa Barbara City College officials initially said they could not confirm reports that Rodger was a student there.

In a statement issued Saturday in response to an overnight inquiry from Noozhawk, SBCC would only say, “We are fully cooperating with law enforcement and, for that reason, are not able to provide additional information at this time.”

Saturday night, SBCC spokeswoman Joan Galván isssued a new statement acknowledging that Rodger had registered at the school “at various times during the last three years but had either stopped attending or withdrew from all courses. Before that, in 2011, he completed three courses.”

“The college has not located any record of discipline or other issues,” she added.

In briefing reporters, Brown described the carnage in Isla Vista as the work of a “mad man.”

Without elaborating, he added, “In the days and weeks to follow there will be a very clear picture of something that has turned out to be an all-too-common occurrence in this country, where someone who is obviously severely mentally disturbed resorts to extreme violence, and in the process murders a significant number of innocent victims.”

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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