“Have you gotten Elliot’s email?” the Times said he asked. “I think you should see it.”
In just 13 minutes, her son would begin shooting outside a sorority house in Isla Vista, California, authorities said.
What Chin Rodger read on that email was her son’s lengthy and alarming manifesto, according to Simon Astaire, a friend of the Rodger family and a Hollywood agent. Astaire gave the Times an account of what happened after Rodger’s mother opened the email.
She checked her son’s YouTube channel. On his latest clip, “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution,” he voiced his words in a very different — very confident — manner.
“Well, this is my last video, it all has come to this. Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day in which I will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you.”
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Chin Rodger frantically called her ex-husband Peter, a Hollywood director and photographer, who was dining with his wife and two friends.
They decided to race to Isla Vista, the college community outside Santa Barbara where Elliot lived. Astaire said Chin called either 911 or the sheriff directly, and arranged to meet with authorities when they arrived. As they drove up the 101 Freeway, they heard news of a shooting in Isla Vista on the radio. Elliot is accused of killing six people before taking his own life.
Chin called Elliot’s therapist, who told her it was unrelated. He said Elliot promised retribution the following day, and his nature was to stick to such details. By the time Chin and her ex-husband reached the police station, officers confirmed it was their son, and that he and six others were dead by his hand. Astaire said he didn’t have the words to describe their emotions.
After watching other videos last month her son had posted , Rodger’s mother called his therapist, who referred the matter to police, the Times said.
Then on April 30, a crew of cops showed up at Rodger’s apartment — and it was “the biggest fear I had ever felt in my life,” he later wrote, given he had three three semi-automatic weapons in his bedroom, the Times added.
“I tactfully told them that it was all a misunderstanding, and they finally left. If they had demanded to search my room .. .. that would have ended everything,” he wrote, the Times noted. “For a few horrible seconds I thought it was all over. When they left, the biggest wave of relief swept over me.”
Astaire told the Times that Rodger was very shy, spoke with hesitation, and rarely looked others in the eye.
“He was fundamentally withdrawn,” Astaire added to the Times. “The guy on the video was much more confident. That is a guy I never met.”
This story has been updated.