SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA – A 22-year-old who killed six people in a rampage through a California college town before taking his own life said in a chilling manifesto that police nearly foiled his plot when they visited him last month.
Less than a month before the attacks, Elliot Rodger — the son of a Hollywood director who was a former student at Santa Barbara City College — answered a knock at the door from about seven officers who were looking for him.
“I had the striking and devastating fear that someone had somehow discovered what I was planning to do, and reported me for it,” Rodger said in the manifesto.
“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,” he wrote.
Rodger said he learned that videos he posted online had alarmed his mother. He believed either she or a mental health agency had asked authorities to check up on him. He said the police left after he told them it was all a misunderstanding.
In a YouTube video posted shortly before the rampage, a young man believed to be Rodger complained of loneliness and rejection by women and outlined his plan to kill those he believed spurned him.
Family friend Simon Astaire said Rodger had seen therapists off and on since he was 9 years old. He was very reserved to the point of seeming to have trouble communicating with “an underlying sadness about him, a frustration.”
The gunman’s family had no idea he had acquired firearms, Astaire said.
In a plot laid out in writing, Rodger said he planned to first kill his housemates, then lure others to his residence to continue his killings before slaughtering women in a sorority and continuing his spree in the streets. Then he would commit suicide.
He wrote that he also planned to kill his younger brother, “denying him of the chance to grow up to surpass me,” as well as his stepmother, who he said would be in the way — killings he did not carry out. But he did not think he was mentally prepared to kill his father, an assistant director on “The Hunger Games.”