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article imageSuspected Southern California mass shooter sought 'retribution'

By Nathan Salant     May 25, 2014 in Crime
Santa Barbara - The family of a mentally disturbed 22-year-old man came forward Saturday to tell police they suspect their relative was the mass shooter who killed seven people, including himself, in a reported quest for some kind of 'retribution.'
The family of Elliot Rodger, the young man who allegedly drove opened fire as he drove down a busy street in the beach town of Isla Vista, near Santa Barbara, said through an attorney that they believe he was the shooter.
Rodger is the son of Hollywood director Peter Rodger, assistant director of the 2012 film "The Hunger Games" behnd Gary Ross, according to Cable News Network (CNN).
Seven people died in the shooting rampage, including Elliot Rodger, who apparently shot himself after crashing his car, and seven were injured.
Santa Barbara County sheriffs called the shootings a "premediated mass murder," CNN said, apparently after learning that Elliot Rodger had posted a YouTube video expressing anger at and seeking retribution from women who had ignored or rejected him over the past eight years.
"The sheriff's office has obtained and is currently analyzing written and video evidence that suggests this was a premeditated mass murder," a sheriff's department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said.
In the video, entitled "Retribution," Elliot Rodger complains about being rejected and warns that he plans to "punish you call for it," CNN said.
"Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day in which I will have my revenge," he says on the video, which has been removed from the site.
Witnesses said the shooter opened fire on people sitting outside a delicatessen and then proceeding down the street of the small college town, shooting at Memorial Day crowds, CNN said.
Robert Johnson told CNN he was near the deli when the gunman opened fire at around 9:30 p.m. Friday.
"I turned and ran in the opposite direction," Johnson said.
"There was a lot of confusion," he said, "even shortly after this whole ordeal had ended, I think a lot of people didn't realize the magnitude of the situation.
Nick Pasichuke told CNN he was struck by the gunman's car as it drove into the group of people he was with.
"There was a guy driving a BMW," Pasichuke said.
"He aimed his car at our group of friends and gunned it into us," he said.
"It happened so fast, I had no time to react," Ian Papa told CNN about being inches away from the car when it struck two bicyclists.
"I jumped on the sidewalk and see a man on a BMW, his body inside the windshield and glas broken everywhere," he said.
"It was a life and death situation," Papa said.
The shooting lasted only a few minutes, CNN said.
Investigators from the FBI and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting local law enforcement in tracking down the handgun he was alleged to have used.
The area's two major colleges, UC Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara City College, posted statements on their websites expressing sympathy with the victims of the shooting.
UC Santa Barbara said several of its students were among the injured.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of those affected," the statement said.
City College called the shooting "unimaginable," CNN said.
"There are no words to express the sadness we have for the victims and their families and for all the residents of Isla Vista," the college's statement said.
"We know our students co-mingle with UCSB students and Isla Vista residents as part of our greater community and we all, as an extended family, are impacted by this unimaginable event," the statement said.
The names of those killed in the shooting were being withheld pending notification of family members, the sheriff's department said.
More about Santa Barbara California, Shooting, Gunman, Psychiatric, Retribution
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