Elliot Rodger's Ex-Roommate Reveals What It Was Like to Live With the Troubled Man
Chris Rugg says he had "opportunity to help" troubled roommate, but didn't.
May 29, 2014— -- The former roommate of Santa Barbara killer Elliot Rodger said today he had a "bad feeling" while living with Rodger and should have taken the "opportunity to help" his troubled roommate.
"I felt that this was someone who needed help and he had put himself in a position where he couldn't help himself and that puts it on the community to help those who can’t help each other," Chris Rugg, a junior who is a film major at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told ABC News.
"I had my opportunity living him when I knew things were up that I could have called in and it was my opportunity to help and I didn't," Rugg said.
Rugg said he moved out of the apartment he shared with Rodger and another male student last June because he was "getting really uncomfortable living there."
Looking back at Rodger's deadly rampage, Rugg said he saw all of the warning signs that something wasn't right. Even still, "I just didn't want to put myself out there when it mattered," he said.
Among the six people that Rodger killed were his two current roommates and a guest who was visiting them.
Rugg said his roommate informed him that he believed Rodger had a firearm because he could hear a gun "clicking."
"I didn't hear the clicks, but he said that he would click the gun over and over and the way the room is set up you could see the silhouette of everything that's going on there."
In his manifesto, Rodger referred to Rugg and another roommate, Jon, as "nerds" who were "friendly and pleasant" to live with.
Rugg said the trio were matched as roommates at their apartment complex after filling out a worksheet about their personalities.
"I guess we were the quiet apartment," he said.
Rodger took them up on social invites for meals or gym time but after the fourth or fifth time, he stopped, Rugg said.
While his roommate was a man of few words and seemed to be eager to avoid conversation, Rugg said he heard him having what he presumed to be telephone conversations from his bedroom that got "angrier and louder."
"There was a lot of just frustration for how he was not having a good time at school and how no one seemed to want to hang out with him, and it just got more and more serious," Rugg said.
When Rodger wasn't in his bedroom, Rugg said he would occasionally go out for the weekend.
"Everything that he dreamed of, this was when it was going to happen," Rugg said. "The Isla Vista culture is very much focused on going out, having a party and taking a girl home with you and stuff like that, so I can understand it hurting and making him feel lonely if it doesn't work out, but not quite to the extreme that it was taken."
When Rugg found out his former roommate was behind the Santa Barbara carnage, he said he sadly wasn't surprised, and hopes others can learn from his experience.
"I realized that if I am not surprised that this is something he would have done then why did I not say anything?" Rugg said.
"For situations like this, it’s a community’s responsibility to help these people before something like this happens," he said. "And in Elliot’s case I guess we failed, but if we take from this and move forward, hopefully we can identify these people before anything happens in the future."
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