Federal agents searched the homes of the parents of Elliott Rodger in the San Fernando Valley today, as new details emerged about a frantic effort by his mother and father to head off their son's planned murderous rampage in Isla Vista.
Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with investigators from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, conducted searches at the father's house in Woodland Hills, and mother's house several miles away in West Hills, media reports said.
According to CNN and the Los Angeles Times, Rodger's mother saw the killer's 140-page manifesto -- against women in general and UCSB students in particular -- at 9:11 Friday night, which turned out to be after three men had been stabbed to death but 20 minutes before three other people were shot dead by Rodger as he drove through Isla Vista in his BMW. Another 13 people suffered gunshot wounds or were run over by Rodger during the rampage.
Both CNN and The Times reported that Rodger's mother immediately went to YouTube, where she knew her son often posted videos. She saw his last post, "Retribution," called the boy's father and then called 911.
The two then set off for Isla Vista in a search for their son. The sequence of events was provided to The Times and CNN by a friend of the Rodger family, a talent agent and media adviser named Simon Astaire.
While on the 101 Freeway, they heard about the shootings near UC Santa Barbara, Astaire told CNN and The Times.
Today, the sheriff's department released the names of the three stabbing victims.
They were identified as Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, and George Chen, 19, both of San Jose; and 20-year-old Weihan Wang of Fremont. All three were UCSB students, the department reported.
They were found deceased with multiple stab wounds in Rodger's apartment in the 6500 block of Seville Road, according to the sheriff's department, which reported that Hong and Chen were listed on the apartment lease along with Rodger, who was a Santa Barbara City College student.
It was unclear if Wang was also a roommate in the apartment or a visitor.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley confirmed that it was Hong who had pleaded guilty to a petty theft infraction for stealing $22 worth of candles from Rodger, who made a citizen's arrest and filed a complaint against his roommate in January.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown had spoken of that case during a news conference on Saturday when detailing Rodger's prior contacts with law enforcement.
The people who were shot to death were identified Saturday as Katherine Breann Cooper of Chino Hills, and Veronika Elizabeth Weiss, 19, of Westlake Village, who were gunned down near the Alpha Phi sorority house; and Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20, of Los Osos, who was shot and killed at a nearby delicatessen. All three were UCSB students.
Rodger had bought two of three 9 mm handguns found in his car from gun shops in the Los Angeles area -- one in Burbank, the other in Oxnard. The third was purchased from a shop in Goleta, not far from the UCSB campus, Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown said during the Saturday news conference. All three were legally purchased and registered to Rodger, he said.
According to a KCAL9 report, the Burbank store, Gun World at 2412 W. Magnolia Blvd., has been served with search warrants by law enforcement officers who are going over the store's records.
The guns, along with more than 400 rounds of ammunition, were recovered after sheriff's deputies found Rodger dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound in his black BMW, which was wrecked as the six-minute shooting spree ended. One was a Glock 34 long slide Rodger said in his manifesto that he purchased in Goleta. The other two were Sig Sauers, Brown said.
Rodger's first three victims were stabbed repeatedly before the shooting began. He also used his BMW to mow down four people.
Rodger outlined his plans to kill female college students in a series of "chilling" postings on social media including a video uploaded the day before and a 100,000-word manifesto titled "My Twisted World," which was forwarded to Santa Barbara television station KEYT. That is the document that his mother discovered after the killing had started.
Each made repeated references to his feelings of loneliness, anger at being spurned and still a virgin and detailed his hatred of women.
"On the day of retribution, I am going to enter the hottest sorority house at UCSB and slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blonde (student) I see in there," Rodger, said in one video titled "Elliot Rodger's Retribution" that was posted just hours before the rampage.
"After I have annihilated every single girl in the sorority house, I'll take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there," he explained as he sat in the driver's seat of his car.
Rodger also maintained a blog where he posted recently that "Being lonely in a beautiful place like Santa Barbara is truly a horrible experience. As I've said many times, a beautiful environment can be the darkest hell if you have to experience it all alone, especially while having to watch other men walking around with their girlfriends.
"I wish girls were attracted to me, I don't know why they aren't."
His father, Peter Rodger, is a British-born photographer and filmmaker who was an assistant director on "The Hunger Games" movies.
His mother, Chin Rodger, is a Malaysia native, according to Rodger's manifesto.
Family attorney Alan Shifman told reporters Saturday that Rodger had been treated by several mental health professionals and family members had called authorities several weeks ago after being alarmed by YouTube videos he posted.
During his Saturday news conference, Brown, who described the crimes as the work of a "madman" said Rodger was discovered with a gunshot wound to the head. "It would appear as though he took his own life," Brown said.
According to his manifesto, Rodger attended public and private schools in the San Fernando Valley, including Topanga Elementary, Pinecrest schools, Crespi Carmelite High, Taft High and Independence Continuation High.
He also took classes at Pierce College.
--City News Service