UPDATE: Isla Vista shooter once attended Pierce

Updated 5/29

The 22-year-old man who killed six people, wounded 13 and took his own life near U.C. Santa Barbara Friday in a premeditated rampage previously attended Pierce College, according to Pierce records.

In his manifesto initially obtained by ABC affiliate KEYT-TV, “My Twisted World,” Elliot Rodger wrote that he attended class at Pierce. Dean of Student Services Marco de la Garza confirmed Rodger enrolled in Computer Science 501 in the fall of 2009.

“The place reminded me of Taft, though the people seemed nicer and the environment was less intimidating,” Rodger said in the manifesto.

Chair of the Computer Science and Information Technology Department Dave Schamus informed the Roundup the professor who taught Rodger’s class, Robert Grogan, is on leave due to injuries.

The London-born Rodger said in the manifesto he moved to Woodland Hills early in life where he went to Pinecrest and Farm School, now Woodland Hills Private School.

“The town of Woodland Hills has great significance in my life,” Rodger wrote. “My 5-year-old self at the time could not imagine how significant this place will eventually become for me.”

Rodger also attended Topanga Elementary Charter School and spent a semester at Moorpark College after leaving Pierce, he said in the document.

Amanda McNutt, a Pierce student and water polo coach of Veronika Weiss, one of Rodger’s victims, grieved for her teammate at the swimmer’s memorial at Westlake high school Monday.

“She did whatever she could for her team. Anything,” McNutt said. “She’d give you the shirt off her back. She never thought of herself. She always thought about everybody else.”

The Roundup respected families’ request to not enter the memorial, but McNutt said the pool deck lights were turned off after the crowds cleared and the swimmer’s friends swam with glowsticks and played catch in remembrance of their teammate.

Before the memorial, McNutt expressed how difficult losing her teammate was.

“It’s [going to] be pretty hard today.” McNutt said. “If it had been somebody else and not her, she would be the one there that would be picking it all up.”

Residents of Santa Barbara paid their respects to the victims at multiple memorials with flowers, candles, chalk drawing, and vigils.

Daniel, a 20-year-old UCSB student who withheld his last name, contributed to the memorial chalked on the street in front of the Santa Barbara delicatessen riddled from Rodger’s warpath.

“This could have been any one of us,” Daniel said. “And the fact that he had 400 rounds of bullets in his car, it really shakes me up.”

Pierce College has a behavioral intervention team where faculty and staff can document students who they are concerned about.

“I think the behavior intervention team is our best defense at this point in time. I think what’s important for the students to understand is that if they see something of concern or hear something of concern is that they tell the faculty member and then that person can turn around and file the report,” Health Center Director Beth Benne said.

Benne said she would like to see more training on campus about safety and mental illness.

“There is such a fine line between the rights of the mentally ill and the rights of everybody else who might be in danger and is it fair to assume that everybody with a mental illness is a potential time bomb? No, it’s not at all,” Benne said.

Feminist club founder and secretary Michelle Borsco offered a different perspective based on information released in Rodger’s manifesto.

In the manifesto, Rodger goes into detail about his failed interactions with women in the past.

“A lot of people are saying the shooting happened because of mental illness, and that may very well play a part in it, but there are plenty of people suffering from mental illness that aren’t shooting up schools,” Borsco, 25, said. “This was definitely fueled by misogyny and men’s feelings that they are entitled to women and their bodies.”


 

5/26

The 22-year-old man who killed six people, wounded 13 and took his own life in a premeditated rampage near UC Santa Barbara on Friday previously attended Pierce College, according to a manifesto he authored.

In the 137-page document initially obtained by ABC affiliate KEYT-TV, “My Twisted World,” Elliot Rodger wrote that he attended one “computer class” at Pierce when he was 18.

“The place reminded me of Taft, though the people seemed nicer and the environment was less intimidating,” Rodger said in the manifesto.

Rodger’s first three victims were stabbed to death in his apartment before the shootings began at 9:30 p.m., Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown said in a press conference Saturday.

“An additional 13 people were injured during this melee,” Brown said. “Four of them were apparently injured by the suspects vehicle when he struck them.”

Rodger died after multiple shootouts with police from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, according to Brown.

“He was obviously dead,” Brown said.

The London-born Rodger said in the manifesto he moved to Woodland Hills early in life where he went to Pinecrest and Farm School, now Woodland Hills Private School.

“The town of Woodland Hills has great significance in my life,” Rodger wrote. “My 5-year-old self at the time could not imagine how significant this place will eventually become for me.”

Rodger also attended Topanga Elementary Charter School and spent a semester at Moorpark College after leaving Pierce, he said in the document.

The Roundup has reached out to Dean of Student Services Marco de la Garza to confirm Rodger’s attendance, as well as professors who might have taught his one class.

Pierce Public Relations Manager Doreen Clay said if Rodger was a Pierce student, the school’s records would be able to confirm it.

“The dean should be able to confirm the dates he signed up/attended Pierce,” Clay said in an email.

The Roundup will update this story as information becomes available.