ISLA VISTA, Calif., May 30 (UPI) -- The Santa Barbara County sheriff's department admitted Thursday that the four officers who visited the Isla Vista shooter Elliot Rodger's home for a welfare check in April never watched his videos.
What makes this admission even more stunning is that the videos prompted the April 30 visit by police after they received a concerned phone call from his therapist. Chin Rodger, Elliot's mother, called her son's therapist in April to tell him about the "bizarre" videos on his page.
"Based upon the information available to them at the time," said the sheriff's statement, "sheriff's deputies concluded that Rodger was not an immediate threat to himself or others, and that they did not have cause to place him on an involuntary mental health hold, or to enter and search his residence. Therefore, they did not view the videos or conduct a weapons check on Rodger."
The officers who visited Rodger described him as "shy, timid and polite."
"When questioned by the deputies about reported disturbing videos he had posted online, Rodger told them he was having trouble fitting in socially in Isla Vista and the videos were merely a way of expressing himself," the sheriff's office said.
The officials said that they did eventually view them and described them as "disturbing," but said they didn't hold a threat of violence like the one posted May 23 before the rampage.
Law enforcement and mental health professionals have questioned why police officers did not view the videos as part of the mental health check.
"If somebody was concerned about them enough to report them it would seem to me to be part of the checkup," said Ann Eldridge, vice president of the Santa Barbara of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.