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Attorney: Family suspects son in shootings, had been alarmed by videos

Saturday - 5/24/2014, 5:20pm  ET

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) -- A lawyer says the family of a man they believe went on a shooting rampage near a Santa Barbara, California, university called police several weeks ago after being alarmed by YouTube videos "regarding suicide and the killing of people."

Family attorney Alan Shifman says police interviewed Elliot Rodger and found him to be a "perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human." Shifman says police found no history of guns, but did say Rodger had trouble making friends and didn't have any girlfriends.

Shifman is the attorney for Peter Rodger, who was one of the assistant directors on "The Hunger Games."

Authorities haven't confirmed the identity of the suspect.

Police say a gunman driving a BMW killed six people last night in the beachside community of Isla Vista. The suspect was later found dead with a gunshot wound to the head, but it's not clear whether he was shot by deputies or committed suicide.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown says seven people are hospitalized with gunshot wounds or other injuries, including one who has undergone surgery.

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166-a-16-(Alan Shifman, attorney for Rodger family, with reporters)-"and wonderful human"-Alan Shifman, an attorney for the Rodger family, says the parents reported weeks ago that their son had posted suicidal messages and death threats on YouTube. (24 May 2014)

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164-a-10-(Alan Shifman, attorney for Rodger family, with reporters)-"recognizing these illnesses"-Alan Shifman, an attorney for the Rodger family, says they see an urgent need for more effective mental health care to prevent such tragic violence. (24 May 2014)

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163-a-11-(Alan Shifman, attorney for Rodger family, with reporters)-"see the body"-Alan Shifman, an attorney for the Rodger family, says the parents feel their son was the gunman, but police have not confirmed it. (24 May 2014)

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