Elliot Rodger's Parents Break Their Silence, Tell NBC They're Experiencing "Hell On Earth"
Nearly one week after 22-year-old Elliot Rodger went on a murderous rampage in the college town of Isla Vista, California, his family has broken its silence. The parents of UCSB suspect Elliot Rodger released a joint statement Thursday through their friend and family spokesperson Simon Astaire, who read the letter on NBC's "Today" show. The couple, who are divorced, said they are experiencing "hell on earth" as they mourn the six college students who were killed by their son on May 23.
Chin and Peter Rodger said, as quoted by Astaire:
We are crying in pain for the victims and their families. It breaks our hearts on a level that we didn’t think possible. The feeling of knowing that it was our son’s actions that caused the tragedy can only be described as hell on earth. It is now our responsibility to do everything we can to help avoid this happening to any other family. Not only to avoid more innocence destroyed, but also to identify and deal with the mental issues that drove our son to do what he did.
Astaire added that the Rodgers, who discovered Elliot's 137-page manifesto just minutes before the shootings occurred, are "mourning the victims more than they are mourning their son."
In a separate interview with CNN, Astaire elaborated on Elliot Rodger's personality. He called Elliot "unbearably reserved" and "self-contained."
"He seemed the loneliest person in the world," Astaire told CNN.
According to media reports, Chin Rodger received a call from Elliot's therapist last Friday night. The therapist had emailed Chin the haunting manifesto, which described Elliot's isolation and desire to hurt the "popular" and "hot" women who rejected him for years. In his screed, Elliot wrote that he would enter the "hottest sorority" at the University of California, Santa Barbara and kill every sorority member.
Chin and her ex-husband Peter, who works in the film industry, called authorities and then raced from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara that night. However, they arrived in Santa Barbara too late. By that time, Elliot had already killed six people, including three UCSB students in his apartment, injured 13 others, and had shot himself.
"It was the longest journey of their lives and I would suggest, everyone's nightmare," Astaire told CNN.
The parents of Weihan "David" Wang, who was one of Elliot's roommates, also spoke out this week. His parents told NBC Bay Area that David planned to move out of the Isla Vista apartment he shared with Elliot next semester.