New Details on ‘Welfare Check’ Made on Isla Vista Killer Before Rampage

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The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office released new information Thursday regarding details of the welfare check made on Isla Vista  mass murderer Elliot Rodger a month before his deadly rampage.


Elliot Rodger, 22, said he would have revenge on humanity and expressed his loneliness in a video posted shortly before a May 23, 2014, shooting rampage near UC Santa Barabara. (Credit: YouTube)

It began with a call to the county’s mental health hotline on April 30 when someone who identified himself as a friend of Rodger requested that deputies check on him.

Four Sheriff’s deputies, a UCSB police officer and a dispatcher-in-training responded to the call, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.

Generally only two deputies would handle a welfare check, sheriff’s officials said, but in this case two deputies who were familiar with Rodger as a victim in a January petty theft case also went along.

Deputies who spoke with Rodger outside his residence described him as “shy, timid and polite,” the statement read.

The deputies asked Rodger about some “disturbing” videos he had reportedly posted on-line. Rodger replied that he was having “trouble fitting in socially in Isla Vista and the videos were merely a way of expressing himself,” according to the statement.

One of the deputies called Rodger’s mother from the location and briefed her on the situation. He then handed the phone to Rodger who told his mother “he was fine and that he would call her later,” authorities said.

Sheriff’s officials said that based on their interaction, 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”

As a result, they did not view the videos or conduct a weapons check on Rodger.

The department said the deputies’ contact with Rodger lasted approximately ten minutes.

Timeline of  Release of the “Retribution” video and “manifesto.”

The Sheriff’s Office only became aware of and received the “Retribution” video and the 137-page “manifesto” after the May 23 shooting rampage, according to the statement.

Rodger uploaded his “Retribution” video on YouTube at 9:17 p.m., just 10 minutes before the first shot was fired.

At 9:18 p.m., he emailed his “manifesto” to several people, including his mother, father and a therapist, officials said.

The therapist saw the email at 10:00 p.m. and contacted Santa Barbara police at about 10:11 p.m., the statement read.

Police contacted Rodger’s mother to obtain further information.

At 10:26, that information was forwarded to Sheriff’s detectives who viewed the “manifesto” and “Retribution” video for the first time, officials said.