A CCTV footage released by CNN showed the moment terrified shoppers threw themselves to the ground as gunman Elliot Rodger burst into Santa Barbara grocery store and opened fire.
Elliot Rodger, 22, left six people dead in a knife and gun rampage in the Californian university town of Isla Vista on Friday night, before apparently shooting himself in the head after a firefight with police.
His killing spree began after he posted a chilling video on YouTube, titled Elliot Rodger’s Retribution, in which he threatened to “slaughter” women who had rebuffed him.
It’s believed that at sometime on Friday Elliot Rodger stabbed three men to death at his apartment, before driving to a sorority house near the University of California at Santa Barbara and shooting dead two women – Veronica Weiss and Katherine Cooper.
At 9.30 PM Elliot Rodger entered a grocery store, shooting and killing his sixth victim – Christopher Michael-Martinez.
After the killing at the grocery store, Elliot Rodger fled and exchanged fire with officers.
At 9.37 PM Elliot Rodger crashed into a police car, and was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound to the head.
Also in the car were three legally purchased semiautomatic guns – two Sig Sauers, a Glock, and more than 400 rounds of ammunition.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told a news conference that the killings were “obviously the work of a madman”, and it was “very very apparent he was severely mentally disturbed”.
The community college student had been seen by a variety of health care professionals, and Bill Brown said his department had been in contact with him three times before Friday.
In July 2013, police spoke to Elliot Rodger while he was in hospital where he claimed to be the victim of an assault, but officers thought later he could have been the aggressor.
On January 15 this year, Elliot Rodger called police and accused a room-mate of stealing three candles worth $22, and made a citizen’s arrest for petty theft.
On April 30, police contacted Elliot Rodger at home after his family asked authorities to check on his welfare, but found him to be “polite and courteous”.
Bill Brown said: “He downplayed the concerns for his welfare and the deputies cleared the call.”
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