Elliot Rodger is accused of planning the Isla Vista shooting spree that left six people dead, but, in the days before he set his plan into motion, many on the internet were already taking notice of the 22-year-old’s bizarre actions.
Rodger allegedly stabbed three roommates to death in his apartment on Friday before going on a shooting spree at a sorority house. Police say he knocked on the door of the home, but when no one answered, he shot three women outside the house, killing two.
Police engaged Elliot Rodger in a gun battle, during which time the suspect reportedly fired randomly at pedestrians. Rodger then took his own life.
“It was a pretty horrific crime scene,” said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown at a news conference, speaking about the murder scene at the apartment.
It appears there was ample evidence that Elliot Rodger was descending into violent madness. He had posted a series of YouTube videos ranting against women who spurned his advances, promising a “day of reckoning” for those who had wronged him.
One of those videos caught the attention of the link-sharing site Reddit five days before the Isla Vista shooting took place. A user named eatingfriedchicken linked one of his videos to the board “Cringe,” which is described as “the place for those videos you see that are too embarrassing to watch all the way through.”
Users noticed immediately that the angry young man appeared to be planning something violent.
“If this isn’t a troll, then I bet we find out this guy is a serial killer,” wrote user crazydave333, who then referenced the serial killer movie American Psycho. “I’m getting a strong Patrick Bateman vibe from him.”
Other users later commented on the link, regretting that no one thought to contact authorities. But Rodger’s parents had noticed his increasingly violent rhetoric, asking police to look into it. Rodger was reportedly interviewed by police, but they found him to be “polite and calm.”
Meanwhile, red flags were being raised elsewhere on the internet. Rodger also posted an angry rant on a forum on Bodybuilding.com, earning him the scorn of other commenters.
It was reported that Elliot Rodger faced ridicule from his peers, which led him to grow increasingly angry.
“There was an incident probably a year and a half ago where he was… he fell from a balcony at a party or was thrown off of it,” said family lawyer Alan Schifman. “I think he was probably a victim from my understanding of bullying throughout his life… I’m sure that had played a role in the terrible consequences from last night.”
Police say the massacre Friday ended when Isla Vista shooting suspect Elliot Rodger went into his car and shot himself.