Parents of three victims killed during a rampage by Elliot Rodger near UC Santa Barbara last year have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department, Santa Barbara County and the housing management companies where Rodgers fatally stabbed his roommates.
The parents say the sheriff's deputies failed to find Rodger's weapons stockpile by neglecting to execute a thorough check on Rodger after his parents had warned of his strange and sadistic behavior. As for the property companies, the suit claims that over a three-year period, Rodgers was "assigned numerous different sets of roommates and transferred several times to other apartment units" by property management, who failed to alert residents to complaints from previous roommates. Rodger killed six people and injured 14 people before killing himself.
In the aftermath of the massacre, California lawmakers passed a law allowing family members and law enforcement officials to ask a court to seize guns from family members who they believe pose a threat. Are there any other policy changes - either in the medical or legal spheres - that could be changed to prevent a massacre such as this? How strong is the families' case against Santa Barbara officials? What about the property management?
Jody Armour, Professor of Law, University of Southern California; Armour specializes in civil liability law
Dr. Amy Barnhorst, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and associate medical director at a county crisis clinic