Killer's family tried to intervene before rampage


Yahoo! News:

Killer’s family tried to intervene before rampage

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — It was Friday night when Elliot Rodger’s mother got a call from her son’s therapist that he had emailed a ranting manifesto about going on a deadly rampage.The mother went to her son’s YouTube channel and found the video in which he threatens to kill people. She alerted authorities and set off frantically with her ex-husband to Santa Barbara.
By the time they arrived, it was too late: their son had killed six people and then, authorities say, himself.
“They’re in deep, deep grief,” family friend Simon Astaire said Sunday as he recounted the family’s ordeal. “Their grief which is nearly unbearable to be close to is as much for the loss of their son as for the victims.”

It was the second time in recent months that Rodger’s mother tried to intervene. In April, she had called one of her son’s counselors after seeing bizarre videos he had posted on YouTube, though not the disturbing one he posted shortly before the killings, Astaire said. The counselor called a mental health service, which then called police.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies who showed up at Rodger’s doorstep to check on his mental health, however, weren’t aware of any videos, the department’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said. They concluded after their visit that the well-mannered if shy young man posed no risk.

Sheriff Bill Brown has defended the deputies’ actions, but the case highlights the challenges that police face in assessing the mental health of adults, particularly those with no history of violent breakdowns, institutionalizations or serious crimes.
“Obviously, looking back on this, it’s a very tragic situation and we certainly wish that we could turn the clock back and maybe change some things,” Brown told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
“At the time deputies interacted with him, he was able to convince them that he was OK,” he said.
It’s not clear whether the mother’s concern about the videos was conveyed to the deputies. An email to the counselor was not immediately returned.

There are already laws on the books to keep guns out of the hands of those with a history of mental illness but as in this case the bar for committing people is pretty high.
I’m also pretty sure the NRA would scream if a mechanism were put in place for taking away someone’s guns on suspicion of mental illness.


The problem is when they don’t have any official history of mental illness until they go and kill people. :frowning:

I imagine the NRA response will as usual be along the lines of “well if those other people had also had guns, this wouldn’t have happened. The solution is more guns. Bigger ones.” :rolleyes:


Let’s pray for a solution, a real solution, to these violent attacks by people who are clearly mentally impaired. This young man was intent on hurting people no matter what. He used guns, knives and his car. We can not point a finger at any single place until we find a way to identify and get treatment and intervention for these people. His parents tried to stop him and even involved the police, I wish they had been able to go a little further as they just might have been able to prevent this horrible tragedy. God please help us solve this issue and prevent any more needless killing in our world.


He was weird, lonely, felt like he didn’t belong, had the emotional maturity of a 12 year old oversensitive kid, felt somehow superior although he knew he really was inferior, had tons and tons of unresolved psychological and emotional issues, I think he may have had all the right tools to become a Priest, the typically shy and slightly weird ones.


" In April, she had called one of her son’s counselors after seeing bizarre videos he had posted on YouTube, though not the disturbing one he posted shortly before the killings, Astaire said. The counselor called a mental health service, which then called police."

Lack of communication, what do you think? No-communication equal no action. No criminal records, lawsuits, privacy, search and seizure, confidential records.


It is good that they tried to intervene. However, I have to wonder whether or not the therapist made a call to authorities. Normally when a person poses a threat to themselves or to others, they are put in a psychiatric ward for evaluation and also for the safety of others.


I am sorry if I am wrong here but this seems like an insult to the priesthood to me. It seems to me like you are saying that people who know they are inferior yet are prideful and that people who have tons and tons of unresolved psychological and emotional issues are good candidates for the priesthood. I apologize if I am misunderstanding you.


We understand that you are in tremendous pain and lack a true understanding of the faith. We pray for you and many of us have attempted to offer you our prayers, hopes, advice, and compassion. We will continue to do so.

But I would ask that you not return our intended kindnesses with insults, disrespect, and anti-Catholic, anti-God, anti-religious rants. You are certainly free to give your opinions, but they should be delivered in a respectful and charitable manner.


Sometimes no amount of communication seems enough. My son (16 at the time) threatened to murder me and my husband and to go to school the next day and kill fellow students. He delivered this during a full rage. He had a specific plan and had been hospitalized previously for suicidal and homicidal ideations. He had attempted suicide twice previously and had cut up his arms and chest.

When I got him to the mental health facility, they asked him if he was still planning to do those things. He told them he wasn’t. They told me to take him home. I begged them. It was of no use.

This hospital and one other had been told by my son about his absolute intention to kill me. They did not inform me. I found out from him during an especially vicious confrontation. He was not admitted then either.

My son had broadcast his intentions to his schoolmates, his teachers at school and church and to many other adults.

The authorities could do nothing. He had broken no laws.

Thanks be to God and only through the power of prayer and grace, my son finally began to turn around.

My heart bleeds for these parents. I know their struggle. I am grateful to God that my son never acted on his evil intentions. I will pray for them, the son, and the many, many people who have been hurt and killed.


Wow. That is horrible. They ought to trust you since you are the parent that you are telling the truth. If he had a plan at one point in the recent time he ought to have been hospitalized.


A similar thing happened to my brother – his daughter threatened to kill them in a drug induced rage. When he tried to discipline her SHE called the authorities and accused him of child abuse. He actually spent the night in jail. CPS investigated, determined there was no abuse, and he was cleared. However, he realized the family was no longer safe and he could not control her, so he reluctantly had her emancipated as a minor . It was awful, but thankfully things got righted thru the power of God when she had a conversion.

Sometimes, despite their best efforts, parents just cannot control the child. there are no easy answers.


:eek::frowning: I can’t even imagine what that must have been like. I am glad that your son did not act on such terrible thoughts.

If I may ask, what caused this behaviour? Was some kind of mental illness, or drugs?


Thats a typical terrible situation, but “excuses” for a broken system just don’t fly. I seen a similar situation last week, young woman attempting to be admitted to emergency triage for suicide. They wouldn’t admit her until she started screaming she was going to kill herself, and the “patients” began to speak up. Then they admitted her.

Thats an in the moment judgement call. Happens daily. Lets face it I’m admitting the guy talking to Lucifer before the individual who is mad at mom.

The system is “broke” its not acceptable, its not excusable nor should it be rationalized away. And no, we don’t want to send the patients home with that latest private drug company medication as if you were passing by the candy counter while receiving treatment. So too this is an issue.


Thanks for your kind words. He suffers from bi-polar disorder.


No there isn’t. But the honesty is the right answer. There is no shame is saying “I don’t know” and I am not throwing quick fixes at the problem.

We turned peoples woes into the usual exploitation.


If you believe I was excusing the system, you have missed my point! I am rather shocked that that was your “take away” from my post! :eek:

I don’t excuse it, I indict it! What I was objecting to was the suggestion that the problem is “poor communication”. The system needs a complete overhaul. The “system is broken” is not an excuse, it is a fact. What it should be is a call to action for the mental health community.


The generosity of your heart moves me. Praise God your son is doing better. I’m glad you’re past that terrible storm.


As for the killer, loneliness and rejection can create a wound, the demonic forces will be more than happy to see that wound become infected. I doubt God forgave him but I hope he did.


I guess we can’t really say. I imagine his culpability would be lessened by his mental state. One can only trust that God, the perfect judge, sent him where he belongs, wherever that may be.


NRA, National Rifle Association. Elliot Rodger had a handgun. All the gun grabbers screaming about this story need to get the facts right.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit