Sky Serge was a student at Santa Barbara City College, living in Isla Vista. She was taking a nap when the shooting took place on May 23, 2014. After graduating at San Francisco State University studying English Literature, she now lives in Brooklyn, New York as a writer.
Right: A gallery of images
Images provided by Sky Serge.
On May 23, 2014, in Isla Vista, California, twenty-two-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured fourteen others near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara, before killing himself inside his vehicle. Before driving to the sorority where the majority of the shooting transpired, Rodger uploaded a YouTube video called "Elliot Rodger's Retribution" where he discussed his plans, his desire to punish women for rejecting him sexually, and noted his jealousy of men who were sexually active. Shortly after uploading that video, Rodger emailed an autobiographical manuscript called “My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger” to some friends, family members, and his therapist. This became known as his manifesto.
About a year later, on February 18, 2015, The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office released a report on the shooting. The investigative summary reports that “[On] May 23, 2014 … a 22-year old college student embarked on a premeditated , murderous rampage by stabbing three people to death inside his Isla Vista apartment. He then committed a series of drive-by shootings and deliberately struck numerous people with his car, killing three additional victims, and wounding fourteen more. During this time he engaged in two seperate gun-battles with sheriff’s deputies, and was wounded before ultimately taking his own life.”
The summary also notes the mental health of the shooter saying that while many suspects in mass shootings “suffer from mental illness that is untreated or undertreated” that in this particular case the shooter “was receiving treatment and had been since childhood.” While revealing the shooter’s mental state, the Sherriff does acknowledge that the shooter's actions must be “taken with great care” as to not stigmatize the mentally ill, thereby discouraging them to seek treatment.
As a result of the shooting at Isla Vista, the summary indicated gun reform legislation such as encouraging peace officers to make “greater use of the state’s firearm registry during welfare checks,” and “efforts to remove guns from ‘armed and prohibited persons.’” Finally the summary mentions that mental health professionals and the FBI’s Behavioral Research and Instruction Unit (BRIU) were to conduct a “psychological autopsy” which might help develop and improve intervention techniques “related to the cause, identification and treatment of such pathologies.”