Father of Santa Barbara shooter speaks out - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Father of Santa Barbara shooter speaks out

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Samantha Lavien

Slavien@abc6.com

Twitter: @samanthalavien

One month after his son killed six people and injured 13 others in Santa Barbara, Peter Rodger is telling his story, hoping it will help prevent other tragedies from occurring.

"My son caused so much pain and suffering for so many families,” said Peter Rodger to Barbara Walter’s in an exclusive ABC News interview.

In an open letter Rodger now says there are traits or markers that stand out about his son Elliot that other families should look out for.

ABC 6 News sat down with the Director of Emergency Psychiatry at Hasbro Children's Hospital to find out what some of those warning signs are.

"Children unlike adults will tend to look angry, more irritable, have temper outbursts, when they are depressed or anxious,” said Dr. Stephanie Hartselle the Director of Emergency Psychiatry at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

In the case of Elliot Rodger, his father says his problems started as a young child. He now points to trouble Elliot had fitting in and some bullying he went through as a teenager.

"If you are noticing that your child is being bullied and has no social supports it may be something that you want to intervene early,” said Hartselle.

Hartselle says there are certain signs that should not be ignored and should be reported to a doctor or mental health professional.

"Any sign that your child might be using or abusing drugs, any sign that your child might be talking about being violent, if you find things on social media about shooting people, guns, knives, anything that you're worried that that child might be really wanting to hurt people or is talking about it,” said Hartselle.

In an attempt to help other families, Peter Rodger has created a website called http://askforhelp.org/ that provides mental illness resources and a place to share stories.


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