The father of a British-born student who went on a killing spree in California has described the “nightmare” of coming to terms with the fact that his son was a mass murderer.
Elliot Rodger, 22, murdered six people and injured 13 others when he went on a gun and knife rampage near Santa Barbara in May after detailing his plans in a 141-page “manifesto”.
Rodger’s father – Hollywood director Peter Rodger, who worked on The Hunger Games – has spoken for the first time since the tragedy in an interview with US broadcaster Barbara Walters.
“Every night I go to sleep, I wake up and I think of those young men and young women that have died, and were injured and were terrorised. And my son did that,” he said.
“My son caused so much pain and suffering for so many families.”
Mr Rodger said he had been living in a “reverse nightmare” since the massacre.
“When you go to sleep normally, you have a nightmare and you wake up and everything’s OK,” he said.
“Now I go to sleep and I might have a nice dream and then I wake up and slowly the truth of what happened dawns on me, and that is that my son is a mass murderer.”
Rodger, dubbed the “virgin killer”, uploaded a YouTube video detailing his killing plans on the day of the shootings, which he labelled “the day of retribution”.
A minute later, he emailed a lengthy essay called My Twisted World: The Story Of Elliot Rodger, containing his murderous plans to his parents and a therapist.
In the video, London-born Rodger, who grew up in West Sussex, complained he was “forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires”.
“Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men but never to me,” he said.
“I’m 22 years old and still a virgin. I’ve never even kissed a girl.”
Following his rampage, Rodger was found dead inside his crashed vehicle with a gunshot wound to his head.
His father said he had not believed Elliot was capable of hurting anyone and described his son’s actions as “the world’s horror story”.
“There is no way I thought this boy could even hurt a flea,” he said.
“This is the most unbelievable thing. What I don’t get is we didn’t see this coming at all.
“This is the American horror story, or the world’s horror story. When you have somebody who on the outside is one thing and on the inside is something completely different and you don’t see it.”