An attorney for a Hollywood director said the family knew about disturbing YouTube videos that police believe are connected to the grisly crime spree
Updated: May 25, 12:58 a.m. ET
Authorities have identified a young man who they said posted a disturbing video rant to YouTube, then stabbed three people to death and went on a shooting spree near the University of California, Santa Barbara on Friday before apparently killing himself.
Elliot Rodger is thought to have killed three men in his apartment before randomly shooting dead three more and injuring 13 others while speeding in a luxury car around the Isla Vista beach community, police said on Saturday. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said three semi-automatic handguns and 400 unspent rounds, all purchased legally, were later found by deputies in a black BMW.
Earlier, a Hollywood director and his family said they believed their son was responsible for the rampage. Alan Shifman, an attorney for Peter Rodger, an assistant director for The Hunger Games, said his client was interviewed by police on Saturday. He said the family had recently called authorities about their son, who was reportedly seeing multiple therapists, after finding videos he had posted to YouTube “regarding suicide and the killing of people.”
In one video titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution,” which has since been removed, a young man promises to have “his revenge against humanity”—including the women who he claims didn’t find him attractive—after having suffered through “an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires.”
“I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one, the true alpha male,” the AP reports Rodger said in the video.
Shifman released a statement on Saturday that said 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.” He added that the family, which is not pro-gun, would fully cooperate with police.
In a letter to the UC Santa Barbara campus community, Chancellor Henry T. Yang called the events “an appalling act of senseless violence” and wrote “we grieve for the precious lives lost, and we share in the heartbreak of their families, friends, and classmates.”