WOODLAND HILLS-On Friday, May 23, Elliot Rodger, 22, went on a killing spree in the small community of an Isla Vista neighborhood where he murdered six people. Rodger’s is from the Woodland Hills region, but lived in Isla Vista where he was attending school at Santa Barbara City College.
Rodger’s unleashed a disturbing YouTube video only hours before he went on his rampage vowing revenge over the rejection he faced by women. The seven-minute YouTube video “Retribution” was uploaded on May 23, where the suspect indicated he planned to kill ever single girl at a sorority house before entering onto the streets of Isla Vista where Rodger’s vowed to, “slay every single person I see there.”
Most of the videos uploaded by Rodger have been removed from YouTube who released the following statement, “As YouTube is a place where people come for information, where content is posted in a news context it will be allowed to stay on the site.” Authorities are currently reviewing a 140-page manifesto written by the suspect and videos he posted on YouTube prior to the shootings.
The shooting rampage began shortly after 9:27 p.m. Friday night, according to the Santa Barbara Sheriff”s Department. Before heading to the streets of Isla Vista, the suspect fatally stabbed three male victims at his apartment located on the 6500 block of Seville Road.
Those victims included Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, of San Jose, George Chen, 19, of San Jose and Weihan Wang, 20 of Freemont. Investigators have indicated that Hong and Chen were listed on the lease for the apartment as tenants alongside Rodger; they are still trying to determine if Wang was a roommate or if he was visiting the apartment. All three victims were students at the University of Santa Barbara.
The suspect then visited the Alpha Phi sorority house on the 800 block of Embarcadero Del Norte, where several women reported hearing loud and aggressive knocks on the door, but did not open the door for the suspect who left. He later went onto the street and began firing shots.
As authorities arrived on the scene to assist victims who had been injured, they received information concerning the suspect and a vehicle description was broadcast to law enforcement in the area as reports of more gunshots were reported. Rodger’s was confronted by authorities where he fired several shots before fleeing in his vehicle.
Three UCSB students who were killed during the shooting rampage included Katherine Copper, 22, of Chino Hills, Veronika Weiss, 19, of Westlake Village and Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20, of Los Osos.
Four people were injured as a result of Rodger’s vehicle, while eight others sustained gunshot wounds and another individual sustained an injury from an unknown origin. Rodgers then struck a bicyclist with his vehicle near the 6600 block of Del Playa Drive, where he continued to travel westbound on Camino Del Sur where he fired multiple shots at pedestrians.
Four sheriff’s deputies spotted the suspect near Acron Park where he fired at them as he drove past, the deputies returned fire hitting the vehicle and striking the suspect in his left hip area. While driving on Del Playa Drive, he struck a second bicyclist who crashed on the top of the windshield shattering it.
His rampage ended after his vehicle crashed into several parked cars. Authorities removed the suspect from the vehicle and placed handcuffs on him, where they discovered Rodger’s dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Police discovered three semi-automatic handguns inside the BMW that Rodger’s was driving. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown praised the “resolute and heroic response by Sheriff’s deputies who raced to the scene and engaged in two separate gun battles with the suspect.” The Sheriff also said, “There is no telling how many other lives were saved as a result of their swift action.”
Rodger’s father is Peter Rodger who worked as the second unit director on the Jennifer Lawrence film, “The Hunger Games.” Authorities have reported that the suspect had more than 400 rounds of ammunition in his vehicle on May 23. Reports have indicated that cops were called to speak to the suspect after a family member was concerned about Elliott’s behavior. Authorities didn’t suspect any problems with Rodger at the time.
The University of Santa Barbara released the following statement on Saturday, May 24, “Our campus community is shocked and saddened by the events that occurred last night in the nearby community of Isla Vista. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families who are grieving and mourning as a result of this tragedy.”
A memorial was held on Tuesday, May 27 to pay tribute to those that were killed by the suspect. Classes resumed at the University on May 28.