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California killings timeline: How Elliot Rodger planned – and carried out – his killing spree


This is the timeline of events that lead up to the mass-murders of six people in California on Friday night, including police contact on three previous occasions with the killer, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger.

July 21, 2013: Police contact Rodger in hospital where he is being treated for injuries and claims to have been the victim of an assault. Officers later found that he might have been the aggressor in the incident, and the case was suspended pending any additional leads.

January 1, 2014: According to a “manifesto” discovered after his death, Rodger wakes up and decides to set a date for the killings. After briefly considering Valentine's Day - the day that caused him most misery - he settles on April 26.

January 15: Rodger calls police and accuses a room-mate of stealing three candles worth 22 dollars. Rodger has made a citizen's arrest on him for petty theft. His room-mate is booked into jail and later cited and released. The case is referred to the district attorney who files a petty theft charge.

April 24: Rodger wakes up with a cold, thwarting his original plans to carry out the killings on April 26, according to the manifesto. It says his father has arrived home earlier than expected and he is not “mentally prepared” to kill him too. He sets a new date of May 24 for the massacre.

April 26: Rodger writes that he has avoided the Isla Vista area, not wanting to to hear his “enemies” partying and having a good time on the day he had planned to kill them.

April 30: Police contact Rodger at his home following a request by his family to check on his welfare. The sheriff says: “The deputies contacted the suspect, at the time found him to be polite and courteous. He downplayed the concerns for his welfare and the deputies cleared the call.”

May 23

9.27pm local time: Reports of shootings in the Isla Vista area are called in to the Santa Barbara County Emergency Communications Centre. Two victims are shot and killed outside a sorority house.

9.30pm: Additional reports come in of shots fired in several other areas of Isla Vista and a description of Rodger's car is broadcast to law enforcement officers. A third victim, Christopher Michael-Martinez, is shot and killed inside a deli, where Rodger fired several rounds after getting out of his car. The victim's father Richard Martinez later blames “craven, irresponsible politicians” and the National Rifle Association for the deaths.

9.33pm: Rodger fires shots at officers and they fire back until he flees the scene.

9.34pm: Rodger is spotted by another deputy and they exchange gunfire before he flees again.

9.37pm: Rodger crashes into a police car and is found dead from an apparent gunshot wound when officers approach his car.

May 24

2.40am: Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown holds a press conference confirming that seven people have been killed, including Rodger. He also announced that a further seven people were injured across nine different crime scenes.

5pm: Mr Brown announces the discovery of three people stabbed to death at Rodger's apartment after deputies investigating the shootings go to the property. A search of the gunman's car uncovers three handguns and 400 rounds of ammunition.