Hours after promising “retribution” against women in a YouTube post, a gunman shot six people and wounded several others in a drive-by shooting near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. The man sprayed bullets from his car, before crashed it and was found dead inside the car, apparently from a gunshot wound to the head.
The shooter was identified as 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, the son of a director who worked on the “The Hunger Games,” fatally stabbed three men, shot two women and a man to death, as well as exchanged gunfire twice with police. In total, he injured about 13 people before fatally shooting himself in the head while sitting behind the wheel of his wrecked BMW.
A semi-automatic handgun was found next to his body, but authorities did not initially disclose whether he was shot by sheriff’s deputies or died from a self-inflicted wound.
Elliot Rodger was diagnosed at an earlier age with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism meaning he had difficulties with social interaction. He was sharing a room with his roommates at the Independent Living Institute in Santa Barbara. According to the website, this facility offers “living skills instruction to help adults with disabilities to live more independently in their communities.”
“It’s obviously the work of a madman,” said Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown at a news conference. “There’s going to be a lot more information that will come out that will give a clearer picture of just how disturbed this individual was.”
The day before the rampage, Rodger released a YouTube video entitled “Retribution,” in which he tirades women who ignored or rejected him “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 said. Women, he claimed, would throw themselves at “obnoxious brutes”, while rejecting him, “the supreme gentleman”.
He went on: “You forced me to suffer… now I’ll make you all suffer… I can’t wait to give you exactly what you deserve. Utter annihilation.”
Several weeks before the shooting, the boy’s family contacted the police as they were alarmed by YouTube videos “regarding suicide and the killing of people,” a lawyer said Saturday. Elliot Rodger was interviewed by police, however, they found him to be a “perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human,” family attorney Alan Shifman said.
“Why are girls sexually attracted to obnoxious, brutish men instead of sophisticated gentlemen such as myself? #girls #perverted #sex #unfair,” reads one of the tweets posted by Rodger lately.
The gunman’s father, Peter Rodger, an acclaimed film-maker, released a statement through their lawyer saying: “The Rodger family offers their deepest compassion and sympathy to the families involved in this terrible tragedy. We are experiencing the most inconceivable pain, and our hearts go out to everybody involved.”
The identities of those killed in the rampage were withheld pending notification of their families, and there was no immediate word on the condition of the wounded, says Reuters.