Dad of California killing spree victim meets with dad of perpetrator
(CNN) — Two grieving fathers, who each lost a son in the recent killing spree in Santa Barbara, California, met for the first time Sunday.
Peter Rodger, the father of killer Elliot Rodger, met with Richard Martinez, whose son Christopher was killed by the younger Rodger in the deadly rampage through the college town of Isla Vista just over a week ago.
The meeting was private, and no media or cameras were allowed.
“I have met with Peter Rodger and we plan to work together so other families such as ours will not suffer as ours have,” Martinez told CNN affiliate KEYT. “This was a private conversation between grieving fathers who’ve reached common ground.”
An emotional Martinez has been an outspoken critic of the nation’s gun laws in the days since his 20-year-old son, a junior at the University of California at Santa Barbara, was gunned down by Rodger inside a deli on campus the night of the rampage.
Police say Rodger killed six people between the ages of 19 and 22 the night of May 23 after years of rejection and jealousy. He was later found dead in his car from a gunshot wound to the head.
His family had tried to get help for him in the weeks leading up to the massacre, even calling police to conduct a welfare check, but all attempts at helping the troubled 22-year-old college student failed.
Richard Martinez has been so grief-stricken by his son’s death that he reached out to the father of his son’s killer. Peter Rodger agreed to a private meeting Sunday.
No other details of the meeting were available.
CNN’s Paul Caron and Anderson Cooper contributed this report.
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