- (Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
Santa Barbara mass murder suspect Elliot Rodger emailed a 137-page manifesto – with a detailed plan on how he would carry out deadly killings as revenge for rejection by women – to his parents and several others, and stabbed three UCSB students in his apartment before going on a shooting spree, officials said.
Rodger, 22, had a plan to lure anyone into his apartment, not far from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and kill them, but he could not. So he turned to his roommates and stabbed them to death Friday night, according to San Jose Mercury News.
The stabbing victims were identified as Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, of San Jose; George Chen, 19, of San Jose; and Weihan Wang, 20, of Fremont. While Hong and Chen were Rodger's roommates, it was not clear whether Wang was also a roommate or a visitor.
The victims were stabbed several times, and Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown described it as "a horrific crime scene."
The suspect then fatally shot two female students and a male student, identified as Christopher Michael-Martinez, at a deli. At least 13 others were injured – eight of them with gunshot wounds, four were hit by the Rodger's car and one received a minor injury.
Rodger sent his manifesto to about 30 people, including his parents and at least one of his therapists, not long before the shootings began, Simon Astaire, a family friend, told CNN.
"All I ever wanted was to fit in and live a happy life amongst humanity, but I was cast out and rejected, forced to endure an existence of loneliness and insignificance, all because the females of the human species were incapable of seeing the value in me," he wrote in the document, titled "My Twisted World," according to ABC News.
When Rodger's mother, Lichin, saw the email and watched a video posted by him on YouTube minutes before the shootings, she called his father, Peter, and 911, according to Astaire. The parents promptly set off for Santa Barbara from Los Angeles and heard while still on their way that there was a shooting.
In the YouTube video, titled "Retribution," Rodger says: "Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day in which I will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you. For the last eight years of my life, ever 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. Girls gave their affection, and sex and love to other men but never to me.
"… Well now I will be a god compared to you. You will all be animals. You are animals and I will slaughter you like animals. And I will be a god. Exacting my retribution on all those who deserve it."
The shootings took place in nine locations in the town of Isla Vista near the UCSB campus at about 9.30 p.m. local time Friday. Rodger, who was driving a black BMW, fired gunshots at people and other targets, witnesses said. The gunman also reportedly exchanged fire with sheriff's deputies and then crashed into a parked car. He was found dead from a gunshot wound.
Police recovered over 400 remaining rounds of ammunition from the Rodger's vehicle. "All were legally purchased from federally licensed dealers and all were registered to the suspect," Brown said.
On Saturday evening, students and faculty gathered on campus, holding candles and singing "Amazing Grace," Santa Barbara Independent reported. Chancellor Henry Yang was quoted as saying that he didn't have words to describe the feeling among the community over the "loss of such precious life so early."
A member of Rodger's family had earlier reported his behavior and videos to police, the sheriff said. Police interviewed Rodger but found him to be "polite and kind," family lawyer Alan Schifman told ABC News.
In his manifesto, Rodger was concerned that the visit by police would foil his plan.
"After only a week passed since I uploaded those videos on YouTube, I heard a knock on my apartment door," he wrote. "I opened it to see about seven police officers asking for me. As soon as I saw those cops, the biggest fear I had ever felt in my life overcame me. I had the striking and devastating fear that someone had somehow discovered what I was planning to do, and reported me for it."
He added, "If that was the case, the police would have searched my room, found all of my guns and weapons, along with my writings about what I plan to do with them. I would have been thrown in jail, denied of the chance to exact revenge on my enemies. I can't imagine a hell darker than that. Thankfully, that wasn't the case, but it was so close."
Meanwhile, CNN reported Richard Martinez, the father of the victim Christopher Martinez, as telling reporters that "craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA [National Rifle Association]" were responsible for his son's death.
"Our family has a message for every parent out there: You don't think it'll happen to your child until it does," said Martinez, who was visibly shaken and angry. "Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights, what about Chris' right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, stop this madness, we don't have to live like this? Too many have died. We should say to ourselves - not one more."