PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Penang-born Ong Li Chin raced against time in a desperate bid to save her son Elliot Rodger from making a fatal mistake.
Ms Ong rushed to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles together with her ex-husband Peter Rodger after watching her son's "retribution" video outlining his plan to slaughter women at a sorority house at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
She reportedly alerted the police and 911 emergency responders, but they were too late to stop the rampage that left six people dead and 13 wounded in the massacre last Friday.
As far back as April, Ms Ong had suspected something was amiss and had reportdely alerted the authorities after coming across disturbing videos posted by her son on Youtube.
She was also believed to have called Elliot's therapists after failing to contact him last month.
The police were alerted following a call to the Santa Barbara mental health hotline in April, but they did not found no cause for suspicion after paying Elliot a visit at his house in Isla Vita on April 30.
The police then reassured Ms Ong that her son was alright.
Composer Helen Yap, who is a friend of Ong, said the unfortunate tragedy could have been averted if the police had taken the matter seriously last month.
"This tragedy would have been averted if the United States outlawed guns," she said.
Many in the US shared her feelings.
Mr Richard Martinez, whose son Christopher died in the attack, slammed lawmakers and the gun lobby after the tragedy.
"Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA," he said.
"They talk about gun rights. What about Chris's right to live? When will this insanity stop?"
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said authorities had been alerted of concerns about Elliot.
"We certainly wish that we could turn the clock back and maybe change some things," Mr Brown said in an interview on CBS television's "Face the Nation."
He said the case would renew debate about the easy availability of firearms.