THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. >> Using a smoke bomb and a handgun, a hooded Marine fight veteran dressed all in black opened hearth throughout school night time at a rustic music bar in Southern California, killing 12 individuals and sending lots of fleeing in terror before apparently taking his personal life, authorities stated right now.
Authorities stated the motive for the assault Wednesday night time was beneath investigation.
The killer was recognized as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a former machine gunner and veteran of the warfare in Afghanistan who was interviewed by police at his house final spring after an episode of agitated conduct that they have been advised may be post-traumatic stress dysfunction.
Long, who served about 4 and a half years in the Marine Corps, was final stationed with 2nd Battalion, third Marine Regiment, Third Marine Division, at Kaneohe Bay and left the service in 2013 with the rank of corporal, in line with The Military Times.
Screaming in worry, patrons rushed for the exits, dived underneath tables and used barstools to smash second-floor home windows and bounce to security as gunfire reverberated via the Borderline Bar & Grill, a hangout well-liked with college students from close by California Lutheran University.
“I dropped to the floor,” Sarah Rose DeSon advised ABC’s “Good Morning America.” ”A pal yelled, ‘Everybody down!’ We have been hiding behind tables making an attempt to maintain ourselves coated.”
The lifeless included 11 individuals contained in the bar and a veteran sheriff’s sergeant who was the primary officer contained in the door, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean stated.
“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Dean stated in the parking zone. “There’s blood everywhere.”
Anxious relations gathered at a teen middle in city to await phrase on the destiny of family members who had gone to the membership. Jason Coffman acquired affirmation that his son Cody, 22, who was about to hitch the Army, was lifeless.
Coffman broke down as he advised reporters how his final phrases to his son as he went out Wednesday night time have been to not drink and drive and that he beloved him.
“Oh, Cody, I love you, son,” Coffman sobbed.
The bloodshed was the newest in what appears to be a endless string of mass shootings which are occurring with terrifying frequency throughout the United States.
It was the nation’s deadliest such assault since 17 college students and academics have been killed at a Parkland, Florida, highschool 9 months in the past. It additionally got here lower than two weeks after a gunman massacred 11 individuals at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Democratic Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, in his first public look since profitable workplace on Tuesday, lamented the violence that has come once more to California.
“It’s a gun culture. It’s a culture, and it’s not about being Democrat or Republican,” he stated. “You can’t go to a bar or nightclub? You can’t go to church or synagogue? It’s insane is the only way to describe it. The normalization, that’s the only way I can describe it. It’s become normalized.”
President Donald Trump praised police for his or her “great bravery” in the assault and ordered flags flown at half-staff in honor of the victims.
Long was armed with a Glock 21, a .45-caliber pistol designed to carry 10 rounds plus one in the chamber, based on the sheriff. But it had an prolonged journal — one able to holding extra ammunition — that’s unlawful in California, Dean stated.
The killer additionally deployed a smoke system, a regulation enforcement official advised The Associated Press. The official was not approved to debate the investigation publicly and spoke on situation of anonymity.
Authorities converged on Long’s residence in Newbury Park, about 5 miles from the Borderline bar, in a seek for clues to what set him off.
“There’s no indication that he targeted the employees. We haven’t found any correlation,” the sheriff stated. “Maybe there was a motive for this particular night, but we have no information leading to that at all.”
Long was in the Marines from 2008 to 2013, rose to the rank of corporal and served in Afghanistan in 2010-11, the army stated.
Authorities stated he had no legal document, however in April officers have been referred to as to his residence, the place deputies discovered him indignant and appearing irrationally. The sheriff stated officers have been advised he may need PTSD due to his army service. A psychological well being specialist met with him and didn’t really feel he wanted to be hospitalized.
Tom Hanson, 70, who lives subsequent door to Long and his mom, stated Thursday that he referred to as the police about six months in the past when he heard “heavy-duty banging” and shouting coming from the Longs’ residence.
“I was concerned because I knew he had been in the military,” he stated.
Hanson stated the sheriff’s deputy who arrived took his info, however he by no means discovered extra about what occurred and hadn’t spoken to Long since then. He stated he was “dumbfounded” by the bloodshed.
The gunman was sporting all black with a hood, his face partly coated, witnesses informed TV stations. He first shot a safety guard standing outdoors, then went in and opened hearth on employees members and patrons, the sheriff stated.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus and a passing freeway patrolman arrived round 11:20 p.m. in response to a number of 911 calls, heard gunfire and went inside, the sheriff stated. Helus was instantly shot, Dean stated.
The freeway patrolman pulled Helus out, then waited as a SWAT staff and scores extra officers arrived. Helus died at a hospital.
By the time officers entered the bar once more, the gunfire had stopped, in response to the sheriff. They discovered 12 individuals lifeless inside, together with the gunman, who was found in an ffice and had apparently shot himself, the sheriff stated.
“There’s no doubt that they saved lives by going in there and engaging with the suspect,” stated Dean, who was set to retire on Friday. He praised the slain officer — an in depth good friend — as a hero: “He went in there to save people and paid the ultimate price.”
In addition to the lifeless, one different individual was wounded by gunfire, and as many as 15 others suffered minor accidents from leaping out home windows or diving beneath tables, authorities stated.
People on the bar fled from all exits, broke by means of home windows and hid in the attic and loos, the sheriff stated.
“Unfortunately our young people, people at nightclubs, have learned that this may happen, and they think about that. Fortunately it helped save a lot of lives that they fled the scene so rapidly,” he stated.
Shootings of any type are extraordinarily uncommon in Thousand Oaks, a metropolis of about 130,000 individuals about 40 miles (64 kilometers) from Los Angeles, simply throughout the county line.
The Borderline, which incorporates a big dance corridor together with a number of smaller areas for consuming and consuming, was holding one in every of its common “College Country Nights.”
Nick Steinwender, Cal Lutheran scholar physique president, advised KTLA-TV he instantly began receiving messages concerning the capturing, and he and his roommate went to the scene to supply rides again to campus or ethical help.
“It’s going to be a very somber day,” Steinwender stated. “I know we don’t have all the details in yet, but you know, it just feels like it’s an attack on our community. You know, I think it’s going to be something that we’re going to have to come together and move past.”
The bar can also be near a number of different universities, together with California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, Pepperdine University in Malibu and Moorpark College in Moorpark.
Cole Knapp, a freshman at Moorpark, stated he was contained in the bar when the capturing started, however thought at first that it was “just someone with an M-80, just kind of playing a prank.” Then he stated he noticed the gunman, sporting a small black head masking and black hoodie.
“I tried to get as many people to cover as I could,” Knapp stated. “There was an exit right next to me, so I went through that. That exit leads to a patio where people smoke. People out there didn’t really know what was going on. There’s a fence right there so I said, ‘Everyone get over the fence as quickly as you can,’ and I followed them over.”
He stated a freeway patrol officer occurred to be pulling somebody over close by.
“I screamed to him, ‘There’s a shooter in there!’ He was kind of in disbelief, then saw that I was serious,” Knapp stated. He stated he had associates who have been unaccounted for.
Tayler Whitler, 19, stated she was on the dance flooring when she noticed the gunman capturing and heard screams of “Get down!”
“It looked like he knew what he was doing,” Whitler informed KABC-TV.
Around noon, the physique of the slain sheriff’s officer was taken by motorcade from the hospital to the coroner’s workplace. Thousands of individuals stood alongside the route or pulled over in their automobiles to observe the hearse cross. Firefighters paid tribute through the use of two ladder vans to boost an enormous American flag over the route.
Helus was a 29-year veteran of the drive with a spouse and son and deliberate to retire in the approaching yr, stated the sheriff, choking again tears.
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