The family of Hunger Games assistant director Peter Rodger says it has been told by authorities that they believe the gunman in last night's mass shooting in Isla Vista near UC Santa Barbara was his son, Elliot Rodger. Various reports have linked the L.A. man to the rampage as well.
Rodger was reportedly found dead after cops pursued him following a drive-by rampage in a BMW that killed six others and put seven in the hospital in the UC Santa Barbara community.
The young man left a string of disturbing YouTube videos to be analyzed:
Said to be an area student who grew up in Calabasas and Woodland Hills, Rodger expressed loneliness and said he planned to “slaughter” the “hottest sorority girls:”
I'll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am in truth the superior one, the true alpha male.
On video Rodger says he was born in the U.K. (Warning: Video could be disturbing for some). He also says:
I'll take to the streets of Isla Vista, and slay every single person I see there, all those popular kids who live such lives of hedonistic pleasure while I've had to rot in loneliness, they all looked down at me as I tried to join them, they all treated me like a mouse, but now, I will be a god compared to you.
The attacks were reported at 9:27 p.m. last night. According to a Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department statement:
At approximately 9:33 p.m., six minutes after the initial call was received, the suspect engaged a group of responding deputies with gunfire. The deputies returned fire and the suspect fled in his vehicle. Seconds later the suspect was again spotted by another deputy and another exchange of gunfire occurred. The suspect fled down Del Playa Drive and eventually crashed into a parked vehicle.
The deputies approached the vehicle and determined the suspect was dead from an apparent gunshot wound. At this point, it is unknown if the gunshot was self-inflicted or if the suspect was shot by a deputy. A semi-automatic handgun was recovered in the vehicle.
Seven survivors were in hospitals being treated for “gunshot wounds or traumatic injuries,” the department stated. One of those victims had undergone surgery, deputies said.
Authorities stated that “written and video evidence” being analyzed “suggests this was a pre-meditated mass murder.”
This morning University of California President Janet Napolitano issued this statement:
I am shocked and deeply saddened by the news of a mass shooting last night in the Isla Vista area near UC Santa Barbara. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this tragedy, their families and the entire Santa Barbara community. I have been in touch with UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang since the news broke, and have told him the UC Office of the President will assist his campus in any way we can.
While details on the shooting are scarce and families are still being notified, the campus is already taking steps in response. University officials have set up a room for families who are coming to campus, and are making counseling services available to any students, faculty and staff who need our support. UC Santa Barbara officials are also working with the local County Sheriff's Office and have opened the campus' Emergency Operations Center. We will share additional information as it becomes available.
She planned to hold a news conference this afternoon.