Elliot Rodger’s Parents Say They Are Experiencing ‘Hell on Earth’

For the first time since their son killed seven people, including himself, near the UC Santa Barbara campus on Friday, Elliot Rodger’s parents are speaking out, offering their condolences to the victims and describing the “hell on Earth” they are experiencing in the aftermath of the violent incident. Through a family friend and spokesperson, the couple released a statement to the Today show Thursday morning.

Simon Astaire read the following statement from Chin Rodger and Peter Rodger:

“We are crying in pain for the victims and their families. It breaks our hearts on a level that we didn’t think possible. The feeling of knowing that it was our son’s actions that caused the tragedy can only be described as hell on earth. It is now our responsibility to do everything we can to help avoid this happening to any other family. Not only to avoid any more innocence destroyed, but also to identify and deal with the mental issues that drove our son to do what he did.”

Astaire went on to describe the Rodgers as “diminished” and “virtually unrecognizable” following the tragedy. He said they have not been able to bring themselves to read their son’s 141-page manifesto and at this point are mourning more for the victims than for their son.

Watch video below, via NBC:

[Photo via screengrab]

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