Mother says rampage lawsuit filed to prevent tragedies

By Brian Melley
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The anguished mother a college student slain in a rampage outside Santa Barbara last year said Tuesday that she and the parents of two other victims realized their broken hearts will never be mended, but they sued the county sheriff and other parties to prevent future tragedies.

Kelly Wang sobbed at a Los Angeles news conference as she described the difficult decision to file a lawsuit Monday in federal court against the Santa Barbara sheriff, the county and the owner of the Capri Apartments, where her son and his two friends were stabbed dozens of times.

Her son, George Chen, was among the first victims of Elliot Rodger's "day of retribution," in which the troubled 22-year-old carried out a plan to kill his roommates and slay as many University of California, Santa Barbara students as possible. He ended up killing six and injuring 14 people before taking his own life.

The lawsuit, also filed by the parents of Rodger's slain roommates, David Wang and James Hong, contends the apartment management company and the Sheriff's Department were negligent for ignoring numerous warning signs that Rodger was violent and unstable.

Wang spoke on behalf of the three families.

She said they were devastated to learn Rodger made a "narrow escape" after his mother saw disturbing YouTube videos he posted and had authorities check on him less than a month before the killings.

Several officers left the apartment after Rodger convinced them he was fine. Had they searched his apartment, Rodger later noted with relief in his manifesto, they would have discovered his cache of semi-automatic handguns and ammo.

Sheriff Bill Brown has defended his deputies and said they acted appropriately in previous encounters with Rodger.

Published: Thu, Mar 05, 2015

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