UK & World News

  • 26 May 2014, 4:26

Elliot Rodger Flew Under Radar, Says Sheriff

A sheriff has defended his officers' investigation of Californian mass killer Elliot Rodger, whom they spoke to only last month.

Deputies visited the 22-year-old in April at his apartment in the seaside town of Isla Vistato check on him after his family expressed concern about his health.

But Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said the officers had found the suspect to be "timid" and decided there was no reason to take further action.

He told CBS News' Face the Nation that Rodger, who had posted material online about killings and suicide, was able to "fly under the radar".

On Friday, Rodger stabbed three men to death in his flat before killing three more victims on a drive-by gun rampage.He is believed to have ended the attack by shooting himself in his car.

Rodger, who had a long history of mental illness, carried out the assault armed with three handguns,all purchased and held legally.

"Obviously, looking back on this, it's a very tragic situation, and we certainly wish that we could turn the clock back and maybe change some things," Sheriff Brown told CBS.

"It's very apparent that he was able to convince many people for many years that he didn't have this deep, underlying obvious mental illness that also manifested itself in this terrible tragedy."

In a warped manifesto which detailed his hate-filled plans to kill everyone from female students to his own little brother, Rodger wrote of his relief that the officers did not fully investigate him.

He said: "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."

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the killer's parents desperately tried to find him as he carried out his murderous spree, after he emailed them his 'manifesto'.

Family friend Simon Astaire told CNN that Rodger's mother, Lichin, saw the email on Friday night, just minutes before gunfire rang out in Isla Vista.

Mr Astaire told the network that Rodger's mother had called his father Peter, a Hollywood film-maker, before alerting 911. The parents then set off for Santa Barbara from Los Angeles.

En route, they heard news of the shooting, Mr Astaire said.

The British-born killer's family and relatives of his victims have called for changes in US gun laws to prevent mentally ill people from obtaining firearms.

Rodger tried unsuccessfully to get into a sorority building, before shooting three young women outside the premises, killing Veronika Weiss, 19, and Katie Cooper, 22.

He also shot dead20-year-old student Christopher Martinez outside a delicatessen.

The names of the three men killed in Rodger's apartment have not been released.

Seven people were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds and injuries caused by the suspect's car. Two of them were in a serious condition.

Rodger'sfather 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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