Students to observe day of mourning

Jose Cardoso pays his respects at a makeshift memorial in front of the IV Deli Mart (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Jose Cardoso pays his respects at a makeshift memorial in front of the IV Deli Mart (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

First published in National News © by

Students in the university town where British-born gunman Elliot Rodger stabbed and killed his college room-mates before embarking on a shooting rampage will observe a day of mourning.

Rodger, 22, killed six people near Santa Barbara, California after emailing a chilling 141-page manifesto outlining his intentions to his parents and therapist.

In a letter to students at University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), Chancellor Henry T Yang and Interim Executive Vice Chancellor Joel Michaelsen said today would be a day of mourning and reflection to remember the six young people killed.

A memorial service organised by students, staff and professors will take place at Harder Stadium and students are planning a memorial wall to honour the victims at the Pardell Centre on campus, the letter added.

"This is a period of mourning for all of us. The moving candlelight vigil that our students organised on Saturday evening began the process of healing.

"On Tuesday we will remember and honour the victims of this horrible event, and come together as an academic community to reflect, talk with each other, and think about the future.

"As terrible as these past two days have been, they make us believe in our students and the entire UCSB community more than ever."

Meanwhile a model who Rodger blamed in the manifesto for his hatred of women is "devastated" that she has been linked to the massacre, her father said.

John Moio, a stunt actor from California, told the MailOnline, that his daughter Monette can barely remember Rodger.

"She was 10-years-old for God's sake - she can barely remember the guy," he said.

"He's a sociopath. She hasn't seen him since school.

"She's devastated over the whole thing. It's like she's being implicated in this terrible tragedy for something she hasn't done and can't remember."

He said Rodger's claims his daughter had 'teased' him were impossible and that she was unaware he had a secret crush on her.

The first three victims killed in the spree on Friday night were stabbed in Rodger's own apartment.

They were UCSB students Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, 19-year-old George Chen and Weihan Wang, 20, the Santa Barbara sheriff's department said.

Mr Hong and Mr Chen were Rodger's room-mates, while Mr Wang was visiting for the evening.

Sorority sisters Katherine Cooper, 22, and Veronika Weiss, 19, were shot outside the nearby Alpha Phi sorority house.

The sixth victim, Christopher Michael-Martinez, 20, was shot at a nearby delicatessen.

Rodger's parents desperately searched for him as he carried out the attacks after they received the manifesto, it has emerged.

They heard the news of his bloody rampage on the radio as they were racing to Santa Barbara after his mother saw his online threats.

The manifesto details his rejection by women and his fury at men who find it easy to attract the opposite sex. It also chronicles his distress about his height, appearance and his parents' divorce.

Rodger's mother, Li Chin, saw the email at 9.17pm local time and immediately went to her son's YouTube page, where she saw a video entitled Retribution that he posted on the day of the killings, family friend Simon Astaire told CNN.

In the video, Rodger spoke of his plan to "slaughter" women at a sorority house at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Mr Astaire told the news network Rodger's father - Hollywood director Peter Rodger, who worked on The Hunger Games - and mother raced to Santa Barbara to find their son after they received the document.

On the way to the seaside town they heard there was a shooting and later that night, they found out their son was behind the violence, the family friend said.

The shootings began at 9.30pm local time on Friday, minutes after Rodger's mother read the manifesto.

Rodger, who had Asperger's syndrome, was found dead in his black BMW with a gunshot wound and three 9mm semi-automatic guns and more than 400 rounds of unused ammunition.

The Rodger family's lawyer, Alan Shifman, revealed that they called police several weeks ago after being alarmed that the future killer had uploaded several YouTube videos "regarding suicide and the killing of people".

Police interviewed him at his home but found him to be a "perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human", Mr Shifman said.

Rodger had posted videos and written blogs saying he would carry out the killings because he was a virgin and had never kissed a girl.

The "Retribution" YouTube video shows Rodger sat in his car, looking directly at the camera and declaring "the day of retribution" was coming.

He describes plans to shoot women and promises retribution for his "loneliness and frustration" at never having had a girlfriend.

The student went on: "For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty, I've been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires all because girls have never been attracted to me."

Rodger said: "All you popular kids, you've never accepted me and now you'll pay for it."

He went on: "I'll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one, the true alpha male."

The "manifesto" outlined his plans and talked of how he narrowly evaded being found out when police knocked on his door.

"I had the striking and devastating fear that someone had somehow discovered what I was planning to do, and reported me for it," Rodger said in the document.

"If that was the case, the police would have searched my room, found all of my guns and weapons, along with my writings about what I plan to do with them. I would have been thrown in jail, denied of the chance to exact revenge on my enemies.

"I can't imagine a hell darker than that. Thankfully, that wasn't the case, but it was so close," he wrote.

"The police interrogated me outside for a few minutes, asking me if I had suicidal thoughts. I tactfully told them that it was all a misunderstanding, and they finally left," he added.

"For a few horrible seconds I thought it was all over. When they left, the biggest wave of relief swept over me. It was so scary,"

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown revealed that the three guns found in Rodger's car - two Sig Sauer P226 handguns and a Glock 34 Long Slide - were legally bought from licensed firearms dealers and were registered in his name.

Mr Shifman said Rodger had received help from "multiple therapists", and added his social worker was sufficiently concerned about him to call the police last week.

Christopher Michael-Martinez's father Richard spoke with his son 45 minutes before he died. He told reporters: "Our family has a message for every parent out there - you don't think it will happen to your child until it does.

"Chris was a really great kid, ask anyone who knew him. His death has left our family lost and broken.

"Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA (National Rifle Association). They talk about gun rights, what about Chris's right to live?

"When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, 'Stop this madness, we don't have to live like this'. Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, 'Not one more'."

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