UK & World News

  • 27 June 2014, 14:52

Elliot Rodger's Father Lives 'Reverse Nightmare'

The father of Elliot Rodger, who killed six people and then himself, has said his son's rampage came as a surprise - despite claims the tragedy could have been prevented.

Peter Rodger has given his first interview since the attack last month, saying he had no idea his son was violent.

"There's no way I thought that this boy could hurt a flea," he told ABC News' Barbara Walters.

"I mean, this is the most unbelievable thing, Barbara, what I don't get is we didn't see this coming at all."

Elliot Rodger, 22, stabbed three men to death in his apartment in Isla Vista on May 23 before fatally shooting three more people near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Rodger, who had made a chilling tirade against women and the rest of humanity in YouTube videos posted before the shootings, then killed himself.

Mr Rodger, who was assistant director on the Hunger Games, said he lives a "reverse nightmare situation".

"When you go to sleep normally, you have a nightmare and you wake up and everything is ok," he said.

"Now I go to sleep, I might have a nice dream and then I wake up and slowly the truth of what happened dawns on me and, you know, that is that my son was a mass murderer.

"My son caused so much pain and suffering for so many families."

Police had gone to Rodger's apartment just weeks before the killing spree and asked him about disturbing videos he had posted online.

The visit was at the request of a mental health worker who had been in contact with Rodger's mother.

But police did not check the videos or look for weapons, concluding Rodger was not an immediate threat to himself or others.

In the wake of the rampage last month, Peter Rodger's sister Jenni questioned how her nephew could get 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 said.

Meanwhile, the parents of two men Rodger stabbed to death - George Chen, 19, and David Wang, 20 - have told CBS they were angered by the media attention given to the killer.

"The side effect is [it promotes] the killer as a celebrity," said Johnny Chen, George's father.

The families, sometimes with tears in their eyes, spoke of their pain at the loss of their children and called for gun violence in America to be curbed. They emigrated from China to give their kids a better life.

"It's time for all Americans to wake up," said Jane Liu, David's mother.

Mr Chen told CBS that Rodger's parents had not tried to contact their families.

"We want to hear some personal condolence and apologise and this is the minimum they should do," he said.

CBS said that after its reporters reached out to Mr Rodger, he sent the families a letter.

Mr Rodger previously held an emotional encounter with Richard Martinez, whose son was another victim.

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