UK & World News

  • 25 May 2014, 2:12

Hollywood Director's Son 'Was Drive-By Gunman'

A Hollywood director believes his son carried out Friday night's drive-by gun massacre in a beach-front Californian college town.

British-born Peter Rodger, who was assistant director on The Hunger Games, has been told his son is dead after killing six people, according to his attorney Alan Shifman. Seven others were injured in the attack.

Police said three of the victims - all male - were "stabbed repeatedly" at Elliot Rodger's apartment before he went on the shooting rampage.

Two young women were later killed outside sorority house after people inside reported hearing "aggressive knocking" on the door.

The sixth victim, Christopher Martinez, was shot at a nearby delicatessen. At a news conference, police said they believed he had taken his own life.

Rodger's family said the 22-year-old had been receiving psychiatric care. He had been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, the lawyer added.

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

Authorities have not yet identified the gunman, who was found dead after spraying bullets from a black BMW at passers-by in Isla Vista - a student enclave next to the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The killer had a gun battle with police before crashing into a parked car. The attack began at around 9.30pm and was reportedly over in minutes.

He was found slumped in his vehicle with a gunshot wound to his head, though it is not yet clear if it was self-inflicted.

A semi-automatic handgun was recovered from the scene.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brownsaid the shootings occurred at several sites in the town, resulting in nine crime scenes.

He called the attack "the work of a madman" and said authorities were looking at written and video evidence that suggests "this atrocity was a premeditated mass murder".

In the footage posted on the eve of the shooting, Elliot Rodger made a chilling tirade against women and the rest of humanity, threatening a "day of retribution".

During a rant lasting nearly seven minutes, he said it was "not fair" that he was still a virgin and had never kissed a girl.

"For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty, I've been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires all because girls have never been attracted to me," he said.

"You throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men," he continues, "instead of me - the supreme gentleman - I will punish all of you for it." He chuckles sinisterly.

The family contacted police several weeks ago, said their lawyer, to report their concerns about other YouTube videos posted by the son which focused on suicide and killings.

But police interviewed Elliot Rodger and found him to be a "perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human", according to the family attorney.

The suspect also apparently kept a blog in which he said: "I wish girls were attracted to me - I don't know why they aren't."

He wrote that he was born in the UK and moved to the United States when he was five. His father was educated in Maidstone, Kent.

Elliot Rodgerwas reportedly 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 otherto the death.

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