UK & World News

  • 25 May 2014, 22:38

Elliot Rodger Shooting: Family 'In Shock'

Elliott Rodger's filmmaker father is "absolutely broken" after his son killed six people in a knife and gun rampage.

The sister of Hunger Games assistant director Peter Rodger told Sky News his family are "in total shock" and called for changes to US gun laws in the wake of the atrocity in California.

Speaking from her home in Cazals, France, Jenni Rodger said: "I can't imagine how awful this must be for the families of those killed. My heart goes out to them.

"I don't know how on earth a sick, disturbed young man was able to get hold of a gun.

"He was always a disturbed child. I don't know how he was allowed to get a gun. Something has to be done about gun laws in America."

She added: "Pete is absolutely broken. He is such a sensitive being. I can't see how he'll ever recover from this."

CCTV footage has also been released showing shoppers scattering as Rodger fired bullets into a deli during the shooting spree.

The 22-year-old "repeatedly stabbed" three men to death in his apartment before taking to the streets in his BMW, police said.

British-born Rodger had three semi-automatic handguns and 400 rounds of ammunition with him when he died, officers confirmed. The two Sig Sauers and a Glock were all held legally.

He also left seven others in hospital as he sped around Isla Vista, a student enclave next to the University of California, Santa Barbara.

County Sheriff Bill Brown told reporters Rodger had tried to get into a college sorority house during Friday's night attack, and that women inside had heard "loud, aggressive knocking" for several minutes.

Unable to gain access, police said he then shot three young women outside the building, killing Veronika Weiss, 19, and Katie Cooper, 22.

The sixth victim, 20-year-old student Christopher Michael-Martinez, was shot dead outside a delicatessen.

In an emotional statement, his father called on the "insanity" to stop and blamed "irresponsible politicians" for not doing more on gun control.

Rodger's family said the attacker had been receiving psychiatric care.

He had also been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and had "multiple therapists", said Alan Shifman, the family's lawyer.

A day before the attack, the killer posted a video on YouTube, promising to slaughter "spoilt, stuck-up, blonde" women who he said had rebuffed him.

Rodger made a chilling tirade against women and the rest of humanity, threatening a "day of retribution".

He also published a rambling 141-page 'manifesto' on the internet, called My Twisted World.

Police said Rodger's attacks had taken place at 10 locations as he fled from officers and fired at pedestrians from his black BMW.

He also crashed into two cyclists - one of whom caved in the windshield.

Police exchanged fire with Rodger and believe they hit him in the hip as they opened fire on his car. The rampage ended when he crashed his vehicle after ploughing into the second cyclist.

Sheriff Brown said they found him with a gun wound to the head, which they believe was self-inflicted.

Witness Kyle Sullivan, 19, told US media that he found three young women who had been shot on grass in front of the sorority.

The student said one woman seemed to be dead and the other two were seriously wounded.

One of the women, he said, was on the phone to her mother, saying she thought her injuries were fatal and telling her how much she loved her, Mr Sullivan said.

In his 'manifesto', Rodger had written of the sorority: "I know exactly where their house is and I've sat outside it in my car to stalk them many times."

Seven people remain in hospital at Santa Barbara's Cottage Hospital with gun wounds and injuries caused by the suspect's car, said Dr Stephen Kaminski. Two of them are in a serious condition.

Rodger's family called police last month worried about his welfare but officers said they found him "polite and courteous" and no action was deemed necessary.

In a blog post, he wrote he was born in the UK and moved to the US when he was five. His father, Peter, was educated in Maidstone, Kent.

Rodger was pictured two years ago on the red carpet with his father at a premiere for The Hunger Games, a dystopian futuristic drama in which teenagers fight each other to the death.

:: Watch Sky News from 9pm for coverage and analysis of the results in the European elections

Advertisement