Police officers who visited Elliot Rodger just weeks before the 22-year-old went on a shooting rampage that left six dead and more than a dozen injured knew of disturbing videos he posted online, but did not check them, officials said last Thursday.
A new timeline released by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office shows the police responded to a welfare check phoned in by a county mental health worker on the night of April 30 and found a shy, timid but polite Rodger outside his apartment, reported Reuters.
Four sheriffs' deputies, a University of California at Santa Barbara police officer and a dispatcher in training asked him during the 10-minute encounter about the videos he had posted online, but he said they were simply a way of expressing himself as he was having trouble fitting in socially.
In a video uploaded to YouTube the day before the massacre, virgin Rodger discloses that he had never even kissed a girl. He declared, "I will kill every single blonde s--- I see", blaming women for throwing themselves at "obnoxious brutes" but rejecting him, the "supreme gentleman".
"Sheriff's deputies concluded that Rodger was not an immediate threat to himself or others, and that they did not have cause to place him on an involuntary mental health hold, or to enter or search his residence," the sheriff's office said in the statement.
"Therefore, they did not view the videos or conduct a weapons check on Rodger."
A deputy called Rodger's mother and briefed her on the situation, then gave the phone to Rodger who told her everything was fine and that he would call her later, the statement said.
The officers gave him information on support services and left.
"The sheriff's office has determined that the deputies who responded handled the call in a professional manner consistent with state law and department policy," it added.