Following a July 20, 2013 incident in which Elliot Rodger tried to push at least two young women off a ledge during a party, Santa Barbara police investigating the incident decided to take no action, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Cops tracked down Rodger at a hospital where he was being treated for injuries to his face and arms. He did not cooperate with their inquiries except to say that he'd been insulted and had himself been pushed off the ledge. Police concluded that he had started the altercation.
"During my contact with Rodger he appeared to not be forthcoming with me," a deputy reported. "He appeared timid and shy and would not go into great detail about what had occurred."
Rodger referred to the incident in the written tirade he left behind after his May 23 attack that left six college students dead. "I tried to push as many of them as I could from the 10-foot ledge," he recalled. "It was one of the most foolish and rash things I ever did, and I almost risked everything in doing it, but I was so drunk with rage that I didn't care."
In a second incident involving police, on Jan. 15, Rodger called cops to complain that his roommate Cheng Yuan "James" Hong had stolen some candles. Hong retorted that Rodger had taken his rice bowls and tampered with other personal items. Police took Hong into custody and he was charged with petty theft. During his later rampage, Rodger murdered Hong.
In yet a third contact with Rodger, on April 30, cops came to interview him in a "welfare check" at the urging of his mother. He struck them as quiet and respectful explaining that he was having some temporary social problems, according to The New York Times
Had police run his name through a database of gun owners they would have discovered that he owned three legal handguns. A California lawmaker has introduced legislation that would require police interviewing people who pose a danger to themselves to check gun ownership records. Another bill would fund efforts to confiscate guns from people who obtained them legally but subsequently became mentally ill, the Los Angeles Times reported.
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