Gunman in Shooting Spree Said Women at UC-Santa Barbara Were His Targets

[Last updated (5/26/2014, 6:15 p.m.)]

Elliot O. Rodger, the 22-year-old identified as the deranged gunman in Friday night’s shooting rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., was a onetime student at Santa Barbara City College, the Los Angeles Times reported, and in a chilling video he apparently filmed beforehand he said he planned to take particular aim at female students at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

He would “punish” the women for never being attracted to him, he said in the online video, titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution.” He said his frustrations had left him to “endure an existence of loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires.” He also left what the Times called a “137-page typed diatribe” detailing his growing anger and alienation. His family told the Times that he had seen therapists and was “on the autism spectrum.”

In the 10-minute rampage, Mr. Rodger shot at and ran down pedestrians as he drove a black BMW through the town’s crowded streets, and he exchanged fire with police officers. Earlier he had stabbed three people to death at his apartment. In all, six people were killed and 13 others injured in the attack, which was carried out with legally purchased handguns and which culminated in Mr. Rodger’s death, of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, according to the Santa Barbara County sheriff.

All of the victims were students at UC-Santa Barbara, according to news-media reports. They included 20-year-old Christopher R. Michael-Martinez, who died in a local deli, and Katherine B. Cooper, 22, and Veronika E. Weiss, 19, who died outside the Alpha Phi sorority house. Ms. Cooper, an art-history major, was Ms. Weiss’s sorority sister at the Delta Delta Delta sorority. The stabbing victims were George Chen, 19, a computer-science major; and Cheng Yuan Hong and Weihan Wang, both 20-year-old engineering students.

The university said in a news release that nine more of its students had been taken to the hospital, but several had already been released. The university also said it was providing counseling and emergency housing to students, as needed, and had set up a call center for parents with questions.

In an open letter quoted in the news release, the university’s chancellor, Henry T. Yang, wrote of the campus’s horror, grief, and sadness at what he called “an appalling act of senseless violence.” He also praised campus and local police officers for helping to “prevent an even greater tragedy from unfolding.”

The university declared Tuesday a Day of Mourning and Reflection, with no classes to be held and a memorial service scheduled for the afternoon. Faculty members were asked to come to the campus to be available to meet with their students.

Santa Barbara City College said in a news release that Mr. Rodger had completed three courses there in 2011 and since then had registered for classes but “had either stopped attending or withdrew from all courses.” The college said it had no record of disciplinary or other problems involving him. It said it was “fully cooperating” with law-enforcement officials.

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