ISLA VISTA, Calif. — A gunman who documented his rage against women for rejecting him killed six people and wounded seven others during a spasm of terror Friday night, some stabbed to death in his apartment and others methodically shot while he drove through the crowded streets of this small college town.
The gunman, identified by the police as Elliot O. Rodger, 22, was found dead with a bullet wound to his head after his BMW crashed into a parked car following two shootouts with sheriff’s deputies near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara; it was not immediately clear if he killed himself or was shot by the police. A semiautomatic handgun was recovered from the car, police said.
Later Saturday, police said they had recovered the bodies of three men from the apartment complex where Rodger lived. All three had been stabbed. Police provided new details about the scope of the killings as they described how he went from one location to another and opened fire on random people and exchanged gunfire with law enforcement before he crashed his car. Bill Brown, the Santa Barbara County sheriff, said the suspect had more than 400 rounds of unspent ammunition in his car.
Brown identified Rodger as a student at Santa Barbara City College.
Rodger fired for 10 minutes as he made his way through the beach community of Isla Vista where students were walking, biking, and skateboarding, in a deadly rampage that mirrored threats made on a YouTube video posted that same night, authorities said.
In the video Rodger posted, he sat behind the steering wheel of his car and for seven minutes recounted the isolation and sexual frustrations of his life, pausing for an occasional self-mocking laugh.
He spoke of the women who rejected him, the happiness he saw around him, and his life as a virgin at the age of 22. He called his video “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution,” and said it was the last he would post.
“It all has to come to this,” Rodger said, his voice at once placid and chilling. “Tomorrow is the day of retribution. The day I will have my retribution against humanity. Against all of you. 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. In those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness.”
“I do not know why you girls aren’t attracted to me,” he said, “but I will punish you all for it.”
On Friday, at 9:27 p.m. in this college town just up the coast from Santa Barbara, police said Rodger launched his revenge.
Investigators spent Saturday working nine crime scenes along Rodger’s deadly route. Late in the afternoon they added a 10th — his apartment.
In addition to his chilling video, Rodger had prepared a 140-page manifesto in which he laid out his plan for the killings, starting with luring potential victims to his apartment.
“We have obtained and are analyzing written and videotaped evidence that suggests that this atrocity was a premeditated mass murder,” Brown said Saturday.
In his videos, a blog, his Facebook page, and the manifesto, Rodger — the son of a Hollywood director — portrayed himself as a loner in a pleasant and perpetually sunny college town along the California coast. He spoke of going to beaches and watching with rage as couples held hands or kissed, of escaping to serenity on the local golf course because he knew, he said, he would never see a couple there.
Kyle Sullivan, 19, a student at Santa Barbara City College, told CNN that he saw three young women sprawled in the grass in front of the Alpha Phi sorority house. Only one of them appeared conscious.
Of seven people hospitalized, one had life-threatening injuries, authorities said.
The identities of the victims began trickling out through the day some in distraught postings on Facebook by devastated parents. “Veronika Weiss. 1995-2014. Innocent victim of the Goleta shooting rampage last night,” read a posting by Bob Weiss. Another was Katie Cooper, whose death was confirmed by her mother, Kelli, in a telephone conversation before she broke down in tears a.
The father of Christopher Martinez, one of the men killed in the shootings, emerged to offer a brief and emotionally wrenching denunciation of gun advocates and policies he said led to the death of his child.
“This death has left our family lost and broken,” the father, Richard Martinez, said. “Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’s right to live? When will this insanity stop?”