TIME Crime

California Killer’s Former Roommate: ‘We Failed’ to Intervene

Elliot Rodger’s ex-roommate says he felt something was wrong but failed to step in to get Rodger help before it was too late

A former roommate of the man who police say killed six people in a bloody rampage in California last week before taking his own life says he saw warning signs but failed to act.

“I had my opportunity living with him when I knew things were up that I could have called in and it was my opportunity to help and I didn’t,” Chris Rugg, who lived with Elliot Rodger last year, told ABC News in an interview that aired Thursday. A junior and film major at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Rugg moved out of the apartment he shared with Rodger last June, he said, after it started “getting really uncomfortable living there.”

In a manifesto Rodger left before his death, he called Rugg and a third roommate “nerds” who were nonetheless “friendly and pleasant” to live with.

Rugg said the other roommate told him he thought Rodger had a gun.

“I didn’t hear the clicks, but he said that he would click the gun over and over and the way the room is set up you could see the silhouette of everything that’s going on there,” Rugg said.

Rugg described Rodger as standoffish, frustrated, and eager to avoid interactions with other people.

“There was a lot of just frustration for how he was not having a good time at school and how no one seemed to want to hang out with him, and it just got more and more serious,” Rugg said.

“For situations like this, it’s a community’s responsibility to help these people before something like this happens,” he added. “And in Elliot’s case I guess we failed, but if we take from this and move forward, hopefully we can identify these people before anything happens in the future.”

[ABC News]

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