Police Knew About Elliot Rodger's Disturbing Videos But Didn't Watch

In a press release put out Thursday, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's department revealed that they did know about Elliot Rodger's misogynistic videos before he went on a shooting rampage, but they hadn't watched them.

Previously, the Sheriff's office had alleged that they didn't know about the videos until after Rodger's shooting spree. But according to a new timeline of the events leading to Rodger's death, they were tipped off about the videos last Wednesday by a friend of Rodger's who was concerned about his well-being:

When Sheriff's deputies arrived at Rodger's address, they contacted him outside of his residence. Deputies found Rodger to be shy, timid and polite. When questioned by the deputies about reported disturbing videos he had posted on-line, Rodger told them he was having trouble fitting in socially in Isla Vista and the videos were merely a way of expressing himself. Based upon the information available to them at the time, 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 or search his residence. Therefore, they did not view the videos or conduct a weapons check on Rodger.

The Sheriff's office maintains that they didn't know about his final "Retribution" video or his "manifesto" until an hour after the shooting. In the release, they describe the case as "one of the most complex investigations in the history of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office."

Image via Jae C. Hong/AP