Did Police Miss the Chance to Stop Santa Barbara Shooter?

Elliot Rodger emailed a 137-page manifesto to his family and friends minutes before his deadly rampage.
3:42 | 05/27/14

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Transcript for Did Police Miss the Chance to Stop Santa Barbara Shooter?
Now, to the question so many are asking in the aftermath of this tragedy, could it have been prevented? We're learning the details of who Elliot Rodger sent his manifesto to. Reporter: Could Elliot Rodger have been stopped if someone had all of the pieces that he finally had snapped. This is my last video. It all has to come to this. Reporter: Friday at 9:18 P.M., Santa Barbara police say he e-mailed his manifesto to his family and other mental health professionals. But police tell ABC news, one counselor who worked with Rodger for years didn't open that e-mail until about 10:00 P.M. He skimmed through it and found alarming portions. Reporter: Just 11 minutes later, the counselor called police. But by then, it was 40 minutes after the shooting started, when Rodger's parents learned of the manifesto, a family friend say they raced from L.A. To Isla vista. A special education teacher tells ABC news, his family was, quote, desperate for help. Recently Rodger had three run-ins with police. The first last summer. He claimed he had been attacked. But in his manifesto says he tried to push female partygoers off of a ledge after they insulted him. Just a few weeks ago, sheriff's deputies came to his door because his parents were worried about his disturbing videos. Police say they did not see any reason to hold him. It's not against the law to say, inappropriate things. It's against the law to act on them. Reporter: He wrote that he began planning his day of retribution back in 2012, when he bought his first handgun. George? Thanks. Let's get more from our chief league affairs anchor, Dan Abrams. The therapist who saw the manifesto called the police. But it was too late. There may have been more than one therapist, as well. A therapist in the state of California, this does vary state-to-state, is required to try to protect the victims, if if, "A" they're reasonably identifiable. He did identify the roommates and others. A specific threat. It has to be specific. And the victims have to be identifiable. In California, you have to do it in 24 hours. It had been immediately. The law was changed to make it within 24 hours. Let's be very careful. I don't think any of that would have made a difference here. This was a very long manifesto. We don't know what the first therapist who saw it actually saw in the manifesto. Was she able to get through the whole thing? Did she see the part about the victims, et cetera. There's a lot of questions here still to be asked. And it seems that he intentionally sent it at a point where no one could really do anything. And despite this history, for a long time, still able to buy a gun. That's connected to the psychology, right? If he had been in a psychiatric facility. If he was adjudicated to be mentally unfit, that would have changed his ability to buy a gun. But because here, when the police came by, they didn't determine that he could be involuntarily held in a psychiatric facility. That prevented them from taking any action. It also allowed him to purchase a gun legally. Dan Abrams, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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