Could sheriff’s deputies have prevented Isla Vista killings?

March 3, 2015
Elliot Rodger

Elliot Rodger

The parents of three murdered college students are suing Santa Barbara County and it sheriff’s office, as well as an Isla Vista apartment complex and its parent company, alleging that they hold partial responsibility for the killing spree carried out last year by Elliot Rodger.

Los Angeles law firms Becker Law Group and McNicholas & McNicholas filed the lawsuit in federal court. The suit faults sheriff’s deputies for failing to perform a gun background check while examining Rodger’s welfare less than a month before the killing spree.

“At that time, Mr. Rodger had a cache of weapons and ammunition in his room and commented in his diary that he was relieved the deputies didn’t check his room because his plan would have been ruined,” a press release about the lawsuit states.

The three victims, whose deaths are the subject of the lawsuit, died due to stab wounds, according to the sheriff’s report on Rodger’s crime spree. Weihang Wang, Chen Hong and George Chen suffered 15, 25 and 94 stab wounds respectively, the sheriff’s report states.

Both Wong and Hong were Rodger’s roommates. Chen was at Rodger’s apartment when the killing spree began.

The suit also faults sheriff’s deputies for failing to watch videos that Rodger had posted on YouTube. A mental health worker tipping the sheriff’s office about the videos prompted the welfare check, the suit alleges.

Isla Vista complex Capri Apartments also failed to perform a proper background check, according to the suit. The plaintiffs also accuse the complex of not conducting a reasonable investigation of Rodger and of failing to warn Rodger’s roommates of his unstable and violent tendencies.

Rodger shot three students to death after stabbing the men in his apartment. He then killed himself during a gun battle with deputies.

Mr. Holly

Don’t forget about the Constitution and the rights that people have. There are also search and seizure laws that are in effect. These laws are good as they protect citizens from unwarranted searches and abuse of their rights. Unfortunately on the other sides these protective measures prevent law enforcement and other agencies from looking into issues further. This is a very unfortunate and sad situation but once again the “ambulance chasing”

attorneys are at it again.

We all should be looking into what appears to be an increase in mental illness and what we can do to help these people. Unfortunately the politicians are not really ever going to do anything because the cost of a program like this would not buy them enough votes.


hard to blame anyone for a lunatic doing what was done. that being said, a week or three before what happened, his parents and his psych doctor saw either similar videos or the same videos posted, called the police and told them. they didn’t look up what was posted, they went over and did whatever they did n left. now don’t get me wrong, im not blaming anyone for what was done but who did it, but I do believe it could have possibly been prevented. and I do believe there should be a hippa breach for mental illness and gun control backround checks. to rely on a mentally ill person of that nature or any for that matter to check the yes box when asked if treated for mental illness is just as silly as the rest of ca gun laws. now all that being said in this instance or any other the police need to be responsible for their actions, whether it be ferguson, fruitvale or right here at home.


I kinda feel the same, except for the snark about gun laws. A person as disturbed as this should have never been allowed near any firearms.

Might have helped to prevent the three random killings.

That being said, so many look for blame after the fact. The cops here did their job, but they’re not mindreaders. I’m sure that they wish they were and feel terrible now.

But, they weren’t negligent.

JB Bronson

This lawsuit is like an illegitimate child birthed by a lawyer.

The families may get some money (not saying they should), but they will have to earn it through the proceedings, only to find that closure, has nothing to do with the money; a lesson the authoring lawyer is not capable of understanding.


So I guess these people think a landlord should obtain not only a credit report but a psychological evaluation from a prospective renter before they will rent to them??

Clearly this is all about money for them.

Rich in MB

No….actually “these people” are just looking for their Lottery Payday from their kids death.

Boom…someone had to say it!!!


You got it, just like the family of the lady that worked at KSBY who was texting while crossing the street and not paying attention.


3 Killed by Knife

3 Killed by Gun

7 Wounded by Vehicle

The lawsuit is focused on Apartment Complex and Sheriff’s office.

Why isn’t DMV and Amazon included in the lawsuit for issuance of a Driver’s License and Knife purchase?


Don’t forget the California Lottery – as he felt destined to win and did not, all of the women who didn’t have sex with him, his mean kindergarten teacher, US Immigration who let his family immigrate to the US from Europe and everyone else mentioned in his manifesto who slighted him throughout his miserable life.


Oh you wait, the attorneys will get around to it if they think there is a buck to be squeezed out of them.


And why not sue Elliot Rodger’s parents, ……….. no deep pockets and likelihood for a quick money settlement.


We sympathize with the pain these parents are going through, but lumping everyone into a lawsuit and claiming they’re all responsible for what happened is not right.

How is the apartment complex supposed to get mental health records on someone who wants to rent? Do we want landlords making mental health evaluations?

Rich in MB


Lets blame the Cops now for everything.

They shoot a thug that is charging them that already reached for their gun…lets blame the cops.

A nut job who his own parents knews was a nut job snaps and shoots people….lets blame the cops.

Folks…this blaming the Cops culture has got to stop.

Blame the individuals but leave the guys/gals in Blue alone…their job is hard enough and I’m sick of the Media trying to blame them!


cell phone cameras are forcing the judiciary and the Constabulary to clean up their act


I’m really not a “blame the cop” kind of person but remember–when this story broke, the murderer’s parents said that they had themselves alerted the sheriff’s office about their son’s psycho youtube videos. And this article says that a mental health worker also told the sheriff’s office.

Only after the murders did the sheriff admit that no deputies actually watched any of the threatening videos beforehand. If they would’ve done so, they could’ve at least taken the kid in on a 5150.


The parents, upon be unable to reach their son didn’t call the sheriff’s department to alert them, but instead got in their car to drive an hour from LA to SB to look for him. A phone call to the sheriffs, when they found he had severed any communication might have prevented some of the deaths too.


Hindsight is always 20-20. A “welfare check” isn’t a criminal search warrant.


Bingo! Hence this case will likely be dismissed by the court.