LOS ANGELES (AP) — A gunman who killed six University of California, Santa Barbara students searched online for ways to silently kill before using knives to stab to death his first three victims, one of them 94 times, according to a sheriff's department report.
Stab and slash marks on a fitted sheet and several pillows suggest 22-year-old Elliot Rodger rehearsed his actions. In a final handwritten journal entry dated that day, he wrote: "This is it. In one hour I will have my revenge on this cruel world. I HATE YOU ALLLL! DIE."
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office released the 64-page report Thursday summarizing the results of their investigation into the May 23 rampage and providing new details on how Rodger, the son of a Hollywood director, killed his two roommates and their friend in his apartment, gunned down two women outside a sorority and killed a sixth person. Fourteen people were also injured.
Rodger used two long fixed-blade knives, including a nearly 9-inch boar hunting knife, to kill roommates James Hong and Weihan "David" Wang, both 20, and a visiting friend, George Chen, 19. Chen was stabbed 94 times, according to the report. Rodger had been randomly assigned to share the Isla Vista apartment with Hong and Wang.
Rodger searched online for "quiet silent kill with a knife" before likely ambushing each and stabbing them.
The Isla Vista rampage was foreshadowed by a chilling Internet video in which he vowed to his victims that he would "take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you."
The families of Hong, Wang and Chen have criticized the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office for not telling them how they believe the killings were carried out, and said they are angered by public health and legal systems that they said value the rights of the mentally ill, including Rodger, over those who may become their victims.
"It's Chinese New Year today and that is the most important day in the Chinese calendar," said attorney Todd Becker. "All of our clients are of Chinese descent and it's really an inappropriate day for this information to be released by the Sheriff's Department."
Becker said the families, upon learning of the impending release, had asked sheriff's officials to delay for the holiday.
Rodger raced through Isla Vista in his black BMW, engaging deputies in two separate shootouts and leaving a trail of bloodshed that ended with him shooting himself in the head before crashing into a parked car. Inside the car deputies found three semi-automatic handguns with 400 unspent rounds. All were purchased legally.
The rampage happened hours after he looked into a video camera and warned in a disturbing Internet video that he would slaughter those with a good life — especially women who shunned him, leaving him a 22-year-old virgin, authorities said.
He also left a 137-page manifesto in which he detailed his life and his disappointments with his family and women.
A representative for Rodger's family did not immediately comment on the report's release.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office deputies were criticized for not searching Elliot Rodger's apartment for weapons during a welfare check weeks prior to the rampage when his parents became concerned about his postings on YouTube.
The incident spurred state lawmakers to enact the nation's first law that allows family members to ask a judge to remove firearms from a relative who appears to pose a threat. And lawmakers also bolstered firearm safety and added rules for ammunition sales.
The new laws include required law enforcement agencies to develop policies that encourage officers to search the state's database of gun purchases when checking on whether someone may be a danger to themselves or others.
Sheriff Bill Brown said in a write-up prefacing the report that the case was very unusual because of the detailed written and video-taped records that indicated he "clearly suffered from significant mental illness that ultimately resulted in homicidal and suicidal rage." Brown said he hoped a review of the findings by mental health professionals and the FBI's Behavior Research and Instruction Unit will help develop better practices to ID, intervene and treat such issues.