UK & World News

  • 26 May 2014, 7:26

California Shooting Spree Victims Named

Police have identified the three students who were stabbed to death during a killing spree by a Hollywood director's son in California.

Cheng Yuan Hong, George Chen and Weihan Wang were found dead in an apartment owned by British-born Elliot Rodger.

He went on to shoot Veronika Weiss, 19, and Katie Cooper, 22, near their college campus and Christopher Martinez, 20, at a busy deli, before killing himself.

Mr Hong and Mr Chen were Rodger's roommates, but police have not yet established whether Mr Wang was a roommate or was merely visiting on the night of the attack.

The killer's parents reportedly tried to find him as he carried out the attacks, after he emailed them and several others - including former teachers - a 120-page document in which he described his contempt for all women.

The 22-year-old son of filmmaker Peter Rodger also wounded 13 people as he sped through Isla Vista near the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) in his black BMW while exchanging fire with police.

In the emailed document, Rodger - who had been receiving psychiatric help - said he planned to first kill his housemates, then lure others to his residence to continue the violence before slaughtering women in a sorority and continuing his spree.

He also said he feared that his guns might have been discovered when police visited him less than a month ago.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown has defended his officers' investigation of Rodger, saying there was no reason to take action against him at the time despite his family's concerns about his health.

Cathleen Bloeser, whose son was a childhood friend of the shooter and was included on the email chain, said: "We could see that he was turning. He'd changed emotionally and he'd become very despondent and he wanted to get back at people."

She said Rodger talked to her son and another friend about sexual crimes he wanted to commit against women.

She added that Rodger had asked for her son, Philip, and their mutual childhood friend to stay with him over the weekend at his apartment in Isla Vista.

"I have a feeling that they would have been right there as a part of it and shot as well," she said.

In a YouTube video posted shortly before he went on the rampage, Rodger complained of loneliness and rejection by women and outlined his plan to kill those he believed spurned him.

Rodger's father was an assistant director of The Hunger Games, a dystopian futuristic drama in which teenagers fight each other to the death.

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