Hollywood director's son slays 6 in US
A STUDENT who stabbed three people to death and then fatally shot three more in a bustling California college town was the mentally disturbed son of a Hollywood director, police said on Saturday.
At least 13 people were injured and the shooter, named by the police as Elliot Rodger, 22, apparently killed himself after the knife-and-gun rampage on Friday in Isla Vista, near the campus of the University of California Santa Barbara.
The shooter's father is Peter Rodger, who was an assistant director of the 2012 Hollywood blockbuster The Hunger Games.
The police are investigating a disturbing video entitled Retribution, which was apparently posted on YouTube by Elliot. In the video, a man sitting in a car rants about women who had rejected and ignored him for the previous eight years, vowing to "punish you all for it".
The incident - just the latest in a string of gun massacres that have rocked the United States in recent years - is likely to trigger further debate about gun rights.
Detailing how the horror unfolded, County Sheriff Bill Brown said Rodger "repeatedly stabbed" three male victims at his apartment before the shooting rampage.
Once outside, Rodger targeted three women from across a street. Two of them, aged 22 and 19, were killed, the sheriff said.
While driving in his car, a black BMW, Rodger found his next victim, a 20-year-old student named Christopher Martinez, at a nearby delicatessen, and shot him dead.
Sheriff Brown said the police then went after him as Rodger shot indiscriminately at passers-by and drove his car all over the road.
Rodger was shot in the hip during a shootout, but zoomed off once more and hit a cyclist, throwing him onto the hood of the BMW.
"The suspect's vehicle then collided with several parked cars and came to a stop," said Sheriff Brown.
By then, Rodger "was obviously dead with an apparent gunshot wound to the head".
Three 9mm semi-automatic handguns were recovered from the BMW - all legally purchased and registered. Rodger had dozens of unused rounds of ammunition.
Lawyer Alan Shifman, speaking for the Rodger family, said Elliot had been diagnosed as being a "highly functional Asperger's syndrome child" and was being treated by "multiple" professionals.
In the YouTube video, the man believed to be Rodger speaks of a "day of retribution" for his life of "loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires".
"I will slaughter every single spoilt, stuck-up blonde slut I see inside there. All those girls I've desired so much - they have all rejected me and looked down upon me as an inferior man," he says.
Sheriff Brown said Rodger had penned a 141-page manifesto, in addition to posting several disturbing videos.
In the manifesto, Rodger said the police had visited his apartment last month, acting on complaints by his mother, who was alarmed by videos he had posted online.
He said he had managed to convince the police that there was nothing to worry about. He took down the videos, but posted them again in the days before the shooting.
The police had two other encounters with Rodger. In one, he reported that he had been attacked. In the other, he called the police because he wanted to file charges against a roommate for stealing three candles with a value of US$22 (about S$28).
AFP, REUTERS, NYT