The parents of deranged killer Elliot Rodger have broken their silence about the horrible events that unfolded at UC Santa Barbara six days ago.
On Thursday, family spokesman and friend Simon Astaire read a statement from Rodger’s parents, Chin and Peter Rodger, on NBC’s “Today” show in which they described the whole ordeal as “hell on earth.”
“We are crying in pain for the victims and their families. It breaks our hearts on a level that we didn’t think possible,” Astaire read from the parents’ statement. “The feeling of knowing that it was our son’s actions that caused the tragedy can only be described as hell on earth.”
Chin and Peter Rodger, who are divorced, have kept a low profile since their 22-year-old son went on a stabbing and shooting spree before killing himself in the Santa Barbara college community of Isla Vista, California, last Friday. What little information is known about Peter Rodger, who was an assistant director for the first installment of the “Hunger Games” series, and his ex-wife since the shooting has come from Astaire.
Both parents, prompted by an ominous, cryptic YouTube video posted by their son and titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution” (which YouTube has since removed) as well as an email that included his deadly plans, were rushing to see their son on Friday when they heard about the shooting spree on the radio.
"They're hearing that a black BMW [Elliot Rodger’s vehicle] is involved, and they're living their nightmare,” Astaire said. “They're hearing their son is murdering people."
Astaire told Matt Lauer of the “Today” show that neither parent has read the 141-page hate-filled manifesto penned by Elliot Rodger, which the gunman emailed to dozens of people, including his therapist, the night of the shooting.
“It is just awful,’’ Astaire said Thursday. “It is an awful piece of writing. They're going through absolutely enough at the moment. ... They are mourning the victims more than they are mourning their son.”
Astaire also told Lauer that the health of both parents’ has “diminished” since their son’s killing spree.
The college gunman shot and killed six people near the University of California, Santa Barbara, on Friday after stabbing his three roommates to death. The self-described “virgin” claimed he was upset that women showed no interest in him and that he was seeking revenge for having been rejected.