Police Knew of Rodger's 'Disturbing' Videos in April

Did not find cause to watch them after 10-minute welfare check
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2014 6:35 AM CDT
Police Knew of Rodger's 'Disturbing' Videos in April
This image from video posted on YouTube shows Elliot Rodger.   (AP Photo/YouTube)

Police are now confirming they were aware as early as late April that Elliot Rodger posted "disturbing" videos online, but didn't watch them, even after a visit to Rodger's apartment weeks before the Isla Vista shooting. Four deputies, a UC Santa Barbara police officer, and a dispatcher in training visited Rodger for a welfare check on April 30. How officials are explaining their actions, per a statement from the sheriff's office: They say Rodger was "shy, timid, and polite" during the 10-minute visit and was deemed "not an immediate threat to himself or others."

"Rodger told them he was having trouble fitting in socially in Isla Vista and the videos were merely a way of expressing himself," the statement reads. "They did not have cause to place him on an involuntary mental health hold, or to enter and search his residence. Therefore, they did not view the videos or conduct a weapons check." This admission corrects a statement issued Sunday that said "the sheriff's office was not aware of any videos until after the shooting rampage," the AP notes. In his manifesto, Rodger wrote that he deleted the majority of the videos—which the Los Angeles Times reports weren't as sinister as the one he uploaded before the shooting—from YouTube after the check, but he re-posted at least some of them in the week leading up to the killings. (More Elliot Rodger stories.)

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