Santa Barbara police admitted yesterday that they were aware of rampage killer Elliot Rodger's disturbing YouTube videos before they conducted an April 30 welfare check.
The statement is a direct contradiction to spokesperson Kelly Hoover's statement on Sunday that "the sheriff's office was not aware of any videos until after the shooting rampage occurred."
Rodger posted at least 22 videos to YouTube, but most were removed due to content violations. A source told the Los Angeles Times that Rodger's mother, Li Chin, viewed some of the videos in April and contacted her son's therapist. The therapist allegedly called a mental health service, who requested the welfare check.
In the videos, the 22-year-old ranted about hating women and minorities, and fantasized about "slaughtering" them. On May 23, Rodger stabbed three people to death, fatally shot three others, and injured 13 more in drive-by shootings and vehicular assaults before killing himself.
Although the sheriff's office was aware of the videos before the welfare check, they did not watch the footage. It is unclear if they knew the content of the videos, beyond the caller's description of them being "disturbing."
In the Santa Barbara City College student's 141-page manifesto, he described feeling nervous when four sheriff's deputies, a police officer, and a police dispatcher-in-training showed up at his apartment in April.
"As soon as I saw those cops, the biggest fear I had ever felt in my life overcame me. I had the striking and devastating fear that someone had somehow discovered what I was planning to do, and reported me for it," Rodger wrote.
"If that was the case, the police would have searched my room, found all of my guns and weapons, along with my writings about what I plan to do with them. I would have been thrown in jail, denied of the chance to exact revenge on my enemies. I can't imagine a hell darker than that.
"Thankfully, that wasn't the case, but it was so close."
Rodger's victims were University of California Santa Barbara students Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, George Chen, 19, Weihan Wang, 20, Katherine Cooper, 22, Veronika Weiss, 19, and Christopher Michael-Martinez, 20.