The LA Times is asking whether a “co-response unit”–a unit comprised of police and psychiatrists–might have cut Elliot Rodger off at the pass three weeks before he stabbed three people to death, shot three others to death, and tried to kill four others with his car.
According to the Times, “L.A. County has 37 such units” and is adding 11 more, but Santa Barbara County has none.
The Times points to the April 30 visit, in which five members of law enforcement and “a dispatcher in training” visited Rodger’s apartment–after being tipped off by his mother–and found him “shy, timid, and polite.”
Law enforcement personnel asked him about “disturbing videos” he had posted online, and their concerns were assuaged when he said, “He was having trouble fitting in socially in Isla Vista and the videos were merely a way of expressing himself.” The law enforcement personnel decided Rodger “was not an immediate threat to himself or others” and that they “did not have cause” to search his residence.
Had they searched, they could have found his guns–maybe.
The Times suggests this case shows the importance of taking mental health professionals along for visits of this nature. Perhaps a co-response would have led to Rodger being found out or committed on April 3o.
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