On month after shooter Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree in Santa Barbara, the FBI is formally investigating the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department for a welfare check they did on Rodger before the massacre, RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively. Could he have been stopped?
Three weeks before Elliot Rodger went on his shooting spree, sheriff’s deputies made a welfare check to his Santa Barbara apartment, after his mother, Li Chin, became concerned that her troubled son might attempt to commit suicide.
Authorities said that during an April 30 check-in call they made to Rodger’s apartment, they did not search his domicile for firearms he had on hand at the time, as they did not consider him a serious threat.
The FBI opened the “investigation almost immediately after the tragedy occurred,” a source with knowledge of the situation told Radar. “The investigation is focused on the SBSD’s handling of the home welfare check of Elliot, and that they had failed to watch videos he had made. It’s going to be a very thorough and exhaustive investigation. The FBI has also been in contact with all of Elliot’s doctors and various health care professionals, and subpoenas have been issued for copies of his medical records.”
In a 137-page manifesto Rodger sent to family and friends before the rampage, he described his panic at the deputies’ visit, fearing they had been tipped off to his plot.
“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,” Elliot revealed.
Recently, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department cleared the officers that made the home visit to Elliot of any wrongdoing.
“Based on the information reviewed thus far, the Sheriff’s Office has determined that the deputies who responded handled the call in a professional manner consistent with state law and department policy,” Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the office said in a statement.
On May 23 Elliot killed six people and then himself in the college town of Isla Vista, Calif., adjacent to the University of California Santa Barbara campus.
Radar broke the story: Elliot’s parents previously told law enforcement that their son had been taking Xanax in the days before the horrific murders, and feared he could have been abusing the anti-anxiety medication.
The Xanax had been prescribed to Elliot by a family doctor, according to law enforcement sources.
“Elliot had been taking Xanax for awhile, according to his parents . . . there were fears he might have been addicted to it, or taking more than was prescribed,” a law enforcement source previously told Radar.
Toxicology results from Elliot’s autopsy are expected to be released in the next two weeks.
The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.