When UC Santa Barbara junior Chris Rugg heard about his former roommate Elliot Rodger’s killing spree last week, he wasn’t as shocked as he was disappointed in his own failure to act. “I realized if I’m not surprised, that this is something that he would have done, then why did I not say anything?” Rugg told ABC News.”I had my opportunity living [with] him when I knew things were up that I could have called in and it was my opportunity to help and I didn’t,” Rugg said.
The UCSB film major said Rodger was a recluse who frequently had drunken phone calls with his father that included loud complaints about his difficult social life. Rugg says he saw other warning signs, too, including what he thought was a gun. “For situations like this, it’s a community’s responsibility to help these people before something like this happens,” he said. “And in Elliot’s case I guess we failed … “
Rugg moved out of the shared apartment last June after becoming increasingly uncomfortable with Rodger. “I had a pretty bad feeling about Elliot at the time,” he said. Rugg wasn’t alone, of course. Rodger’s parents sent sheriff’s deputies to check on their son in late April. Today, police revealed some details about that visit, which lasted ten minutes. Rodger was “shy, timid and polite,” police said, and they left him with phone numbers of who to call “if he needed help.” What they did not do was watch the disturbing videos that led to their visit in the first place, because, as a statement from the police said, “sheriff’s deputies concluded that Rodger was not an immediate threat to himself or others.”