Update: The killer is 28 years of age and his name is Ian David Long. He was a victim in a bar incident in 2015. When officers went to his house, he was somewhat incoherent. After review by mental health professionals at the time. He was not believed to be a threat and he was cleared. That allowed him to buy a gun. His interactions were over two minor traffic incidents and calls for battery. Mr. Long is a Marine veteran. He used a Glock, .45 caliber with an extended magazine to commit the crimes.
Mr. Long likely killed himself in an office next to the bar. There does not seem to be any targeting or motive at this point.
Without saying a word, a mysterious man in black clutching a semi-automatic pistol opened fire on a California bar packed with college students celebrating “country night” Wednesday, the unidentified shooter claiming the lives of at least 12 patrons — and a veteran sheriff’s sergeant one day from retirement — before the gunman was found dead.
Hundreds of people — including students from California Lutheran University and private Christian school Pepperdine University — were inside Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., for the country music event when shots suddenly rang out at about 11:20 p.m., Ventura County police said.
WITNESSES DESCRIBE WHAT THEY SAW
The gunman, according to a young eyewitness, was shooting randomly and didn’t appear to be targeting anyone in particular. The LA Times says the gunman, age 29, drove his mother’s car to the bar, threw smoke bombs and grenades, and then opened fire upon entering. Witnesses said he never spoke. His identity has not been released.
Several people who escaped the bar described a gunman clad in a black shirt, black hat and black glasses. He seemed to concentrate fire on the front of the venue as soon as he entered, witnesses said.
“He just pulled out a gun and shot my friend that was working the front desk,” said Holden Harrah, 21.
Matthew Wernerstrom, a regular at Borderline, said he had been inside about an hour when he heard what he described as an unmistakable sound — a gunshot. Wernerstrom said that as the shooter concentrated his fire on the front desk, he pulled as many people as he could to the floor and under a pool table.
He said he tried to quiet those around him and count the shots fired. Wernerstrom said that when the assailant seemed to be reloading, he urged people to smash open some of the bar’s windows with chairs, hoping to escape before the next volley of gunfire came.
“All I could think about was how helpless I was,” he said.
A SHERIFF WITH A WIFE AND SON WAS MURDERED
Deputies and highway patrolmen arrived at the bar within minutes of receiving multiple 911 calls and began assessing the grim, gruesome situation, Sheriff Geoff Dean said during an early Thursday press conference.
It is a horrific scene in there. There is blood everywhere,” Dean said.
A sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus charged in to through the front door of the bar because the shooting was still going on. He came face-to-face with the killer who shot him multiple times. The sheriff later died from his wounds. The 29-year veteran of the force was one day from retirement.
He had entered with patrolmen. The patrolmen rescued the deputy from the line of gunfire and he was taken to a local hospital, where he died early Thursday.
Sgt. Helus is described as “just a great guy”.
A student who witnessed the #ThousandOaks shooting confirmed to @ABC7 that the shooter was “White or Hispanic, dressed in black, wore a black trenchcoat, had a large capacity magazine, used smoke grenades thrown at the d #Borderline‘s College bar & grill.” pic.twitter.com/NZKAAMdhBs
— SaadAbedine (@SaadAbedine) November 8, 2018
#THOUSANDOAKS UPDATE: Authorities said at least six people have been wounded, including a sheriff’s deputy, in the mass shooting at #Borderline. The suspect may also still be on the loose. https://t.co/3gvXBtKg7t pic.twitter.com/zIK11Ltsj6
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) November 8, 2018
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 8, 2018
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 8, 2018
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 8, 2018
“He died a hero. Because he went in to save lives, to save other people,” Ventura County sheriff says of Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran, who was among the 12 killed in Calif. bar mass shooting attack.https://t.co/Ix0iMTHOWq pic.twitter.com/VcAUU7940D
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 8, 2018
UPDATE: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office says a suspect is dead following “multiple fatalities” at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California. https://t.co/T6tqJAx6CO
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) November 8, 2018
— Mike Harris (@Mike___Harris) November 8, 2018