By Tyler Hayden (Contact), Matt Kettmann (Contact)
A lone gunman killed six people and injured seven more during a shooting rampage Friday night in Isla Vista that Sheriff Bill Brown called “the work of a madman.” The suspect was killed after firing on responding deputies, but it’s not clear if the fatal wound to his head was self-inflicted or the result of return fire.
The seven injured victims are being treated at Santa Barbara Cottage hospital — some for gunshot wounds, others for trauma sustained when the suspect crashed his car as he was pursued — and one recently underwent surgery for life-threatening injuries.
Initial reports suggested that two suspects were involved in the shooting, but Brown said during a 2:30 a.m. press conference Saturday morning that the gunman acted alone. Brown said the man was armed with a semi-automatic handgun and that investigators are working to determine if other weapons were involved.
The names of the victims and the suspect have not been released. Brown, however, confirmed that written and video material left by 22-year-old Elliot Rodger of Calabasas in the hours and days leading up to the shooting is being reviewed as evidence in the massacre. “It appears to be connected,” he said.
In a YouTube video titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution” and posted the day before the shooting, Rodger — a Santa Barbara City College Student and Isla Vista resident, according to his social media accounts — laments his life of “loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires.” He blames women for throwing themselves at “obnoxious brutes” but rejecting him, “the supreme gentlemen.”
In graphic and unsettling detail, he describes how he plans to launch an assault on the streets of Isla Vista the next day and become a God who “exacts my retribution on all those who deserve it.” (The video is posted below. Please be warned: it is extremely disturbing.) Photographs taken by The Santa Barbara Independent of the suspect’s crashed vehicle on Del Playa Drive show a license plate number that matches the one on the car featured on Rodger’s Facebook page.
Read more: Santa Barbara Independent