"Shy, timid and polite."
That's how Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department officials describe Elliot Rodger when they made a welfare check on him.
He's the 22-year-old who murdered six people nearly a week ago.
When they questioned him about the disturbing videos his parents had found, Rodgers told them he was having trouble fitting in socially and the videos were merely a way of expressing himself.
A family friend tells CNN his parents tried to get him help - and it was a never-ending battle.
"As soon as you met him he was unbearably reserved, self-contained. He seemed to merge into the walls," the friend said. "I know that he was in therapy, I knew that he was meeting experts, just to get better, really, but he was so distant."
It's a story heard before: young middle-class men, in need of help, committing mass murder.
Why is that?
Ted Rowlands has this OutFront Investigation.View my Flipboard Magazine.