Thousand Oaks, California, USA : Authorities have identified the suspect in a mass shooting at a Southern California bar as 28-year-old former Marine Ian David Long. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean says Long is believed to have killed himself late Wednesday at the Borderline Bar and Grill in the city of Thousand Oaks.
The police said Mr. Long killed 12 people in a late Wednesday night attack on the bar, which was crowded with people dancing to country music. He appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after exchanging fire with officers at the scene, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said.
At least 12 people were killed in the attack, including a sheriff’s sergeant who was fatally shot as he tried to enter the bar, a hangout popular with students from nearby California Lutheran University. The gunman was tall and wearing all black with a hood and his face partly covered, witnesses told TV stations. He first shot a security guard standing outside, then went in and opened fire inside the nightclub, the sheriff said.
Dean said his department had several previous contacts with Long, including a disturbance call to his home in April, when deputies found him acting irate and irrationally.
The sheriff said the department’s mental health crisis team was called at that time and concluded that Long did not need to be taken into custody under a “5150” order, an evaluation that determines whether a person needs to be involuntarily held for up to 72 hours because they are a threat to themselves or others. The episode was thought to be possible post-traumatic stress disorder because of his military background.
Dean said the other prior encounters were a traffic accident and an incident when he was the victim of a battery at a bar in 2015.
The sheriff said the gunman used a Glock 21, a .45-caliber handgun. The weapon holds 10 rounds and one in the chamber, but the gunman’s weapon had an extended magazine that is illegal in California, so it’s unknown how many rounds the weapon held. The ATF is currently investigating how and when the weapon was purchased.
The motive for the attack is still under investigation. Authorities were waiting on a warrant to begin a search of Long’s home in Newbury Park, about five miles from the Borderline bar, for clues. Investigators will also examine Long’s social media accounts, Dean said.
Neighbor Tom Hanson said Long lives in the home with his mother. Hanson says he called the police about six months ago when he heard loud banging and shouting come from Long’s home.
Hanson said he heard “heavy duty banging” followed by shouting and more banging, “then it would get quiet and then it would start over again.”
Hanson says he called sheriff’s deputies and that a deputy arrived and took information but he never learned what happened after the incident. It’s not clear whether that incident was the April disturbance Dean referenced.
Hanson has lived in his house for 40 years and said Long and his mother moved in between 12 and 15 years ago.
He says that Long kept to himself and played baseball when he was younger.
The sheriff said it appeared the shooter fired at random once inside the bar and didn’t target victims, but said that is still under investigation. Dean said it’s likely he was familiar with the establishment.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that the shooting suspect may have had issues with post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his military service, a law enforcement source tells CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton.
The Marine Corps said Long entered active duty in Los Angeles in August 2008 and served until March 2013. He ranked as a corporal in 2011 and his military occupational specialty was machine gunner, the Marine Corps said.
Long was deployed to Afghanistan from November 2010 through June 2011. His last duty assignment was at Kanehoe Bay, Hawaii. He received numerous awards including a combat action ribbon, a Navy unit commendation, a Global War on Terrorism service medal and an Afghanistan campaign medal.
The Marine Corps said in a statement it “extends its deepest condolences to the families of the victims in this senseless tragedy.”
Investigators are also looking into whether Long may have had issues with college students, Milton reports. The Borderline, which includes a large dance hall along with several smaller areas for eating and drinking, was holding its regular “College Country Nights” when the attack took place.
In addition to the dead, one other person was wounded by gunfire, and as many as 15 others suffered minor injuries from jumping out windows or diving under tables, authorities said.
Shootings of any kind are extremely rare in Thousand Oaks, a city of about 130,000 people about 40 miles west of Los Angeles, just across the county line.
Here is a summary of what we know about the suspect:
• Mr. Long, of Newbury Park, Calif., had served in the United States Marine Corps.
• Sheriff Geoff Dean said deputies had several interactions with Mr. Long over the last few years. One of the encounters involved a reported disturbance at his home in April that prompted mental health specialists to talk to him.
• The specialists who spoke with Mr. Long discussed his military service with him and whether he had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. They determined that he was not an immediate danger to himself or others and that he could not be involuntarily taken to a mental hospital.
• Sheriff Dean said that Mr. Long was the victim in a January 2015 fight at a different bar in Thousand Oaks.
• After the Wednesday night shooting, the authorities recovered a handgun inside the Borderline Bar & Grill, a Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun, which they believe Mr. Long used in the attack. The firearm had been outfitted with an extended magazine to hold more bullets than a typical handgun. It had been purchased legally, Sheriff Dean said.
• Mr. Long first shot a security guard outside the bar, went inside and then shot more security personnel and employees before opening fire on patrons.
Image : Authorities have identified the shooter accused of gunning down 12 people at popular California college bar as former Marine Ian David Long.
EARLIER : Fatalities At California Bar Shooting Include Police Officer, Gunman
Thirteen people are dead, including a sheriff’s deputy, after a gunman walked into Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks and started shooting on Wednesday night, police said.
A gunman threw smoke bombs and rained bullets on a crowd of hundreds inside a Thousand Oaks bar that is popular with college students Wednesday night, leaving 12 dead including a Sheriff’s sergeant shot trying to stop the carnage.
The massacre occurred at the Borderline Bar & Grill, with the assailant firing wildly into the crowd.
In addition to the dead, 10 other people may have been injured, according to Sheriff Geoff Dean, who added that it’s too early to know if the shooter took his own life.
The gunman burst into the bar around 11:20 p.m., cloaked in all black.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Ron Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer entered the bar first and were met with gunfire from the suspect, whose identity was not immediately known. Helus was shot several times and died at an area hospital early Thursday morning, according to Dean.
Helus, a 29-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, was planning to retire next year. Dean said he died “a hero.”
He is survived by a son and his wife, whom he called before entering the bar, Dean said.
“It’s a horrific incident,” Dean said. “It’s part of the horrors that are happening in our country and everywhere, and I think it’s impossible to put any logic or sense to the senseless.
“This community in my 41 years had never experienced anything like this,” he added.
Witnesses reported a horrifying scene as gunfire echoed through the club and those inside ran for cover, in some cases using chairs to break windows to escape the building. Others hid in bathrooms and an attic as they frantically called loved ones who were hearing reports of the shooting.
The first 911 calls reporting the shooting were received around 11:20 p.m., according to Dean. Helus and the CHP officer arrived on scene and engaged the suspect by 11:26 p.m., he said.
A motive in the shooting was not immediately clear, but Dean said there was no evidence linking the attack to terrorism. Police believe the weapon used was a handgun.
Eleven victims and the shooter were found dead inside the bar by responding emergency personnel.
“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Dean said. “There’s blood everywhere.”
Teylor Whittler went to Borderline to celebrate her 21st birthday on Wednesday night. She was dancing with friends in the bar when she heard what sounded like firecrackers. She quickly turned and followed the noise, only to find a man holding a gun near the entrance.
Erika Sigman, 19, said she began to race toward an exit as soon as screams erupted.
“I’m a Thousand Oaks resident,” she said. “This is a safe place. My parents let me go here. This is a trusted place. … To know that this happened in my safe place is a very, very scary thing.”
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force was sent to the scene, according to an agency spokeswoman. Representatives from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives were also dispatched.
The number of people injured is likely to rise, said Ventura Sheriff’s Capt. Garo Kuredjian, as many victims transported themselves to area hospitals and emergency rooms with injuries. Dean said at least 10 other people who went to area hospitals had suffered injuries trying to escape the bar, but were not shot.
It was not immediately clear how the suspect died, according to Dean, and the identities of the victims were not immediately released.
Wednesday nights are college-themed nights open to students as young as 18, according to the bar’s website. Witnesses said the event is popular with Moorpark college students, and the Pepperdine student newspaper tweeted that students from its campus were also inside at the time of the shooting.
Some witnesses said the bar is a hub for country music fans. Many of the attendees Wednesday night normally attended the Stage Coach country music festival in California and, tragically, some were survivors of the massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas that left 58 dead last year.
Large crowds were forming in the area as friends and family members arrived at the scene to try and find out if their loved ones had survived the assault. Some who escaped the gunfire could be seen frantically talking on phones desperate to get information on friends or family members who may have been trapped inside, announcing the names of the people they were searching for during live television interviews.
A hotline has been established for those seeking information about their loved ones, according to the Ventura County Fire Department, which urged people to call (805) 465-6650.
Nellie Wong, who was also celebrating her 21st birthday on Wednesday night, said she scraped her knees diving to the floor when the shots rang out. Wong said she believed the gunman, who was dressed in a black hoodie, black shirt and black pants with a scarf obscuring his face, threw smoke bombs as he entered.
“Thank goodness he didn’t see me at all. I immediately stopped moving, stopped breathing,” said Wong, a student at California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo. “My heart was pumping really fast.”
Savannah Stafseth was standing outside crying with multiple cuts on her arms
“There are no words. Those are my people,” she said. “It’s just not fair. It’s not fair.”
Aubrey Ryan, 27, of Newbury Park, was in the front of the restaurant with at least 15 friends when a man came in and started shooting at the ceiling.
The gunman shouted something but Ryan could not hear what he said. A friend threw her onto an outdoor balcony as the gunfire rang out so she could escape, said Ryan, who feared some of her friends were still inside the bar.
This is the second time this year Thousand Oaks has seen violence in a crowded area. In March, a man shot and killed his wife before attempting to shoot himself at the Thousand Oaks Mall.
Around 1:30 a.m., dozens of people lined the sidewalk in Moorpark as police lights flashed through the darkness. Some sat on a concrete hill and watched from their perch.
Employees and people who had friends inside the bar huddled together, some hugging and asking one another if they had any updates from loved ones.
Tyler Odekirk, 21, started working at the bar as a security guard two months ago. He said he knew “everybody” at the bar Wednesday night because he was there so often, but he was struggling to reach friends.
“I can’t get anything to anybody that’s in there,” he said. “I had a friend call me in a panic thinking that I was there.”
Carl Edgar, a 24-year-old Tarzana resident, said he had about 20 friends inside the bar, where he is a regular. The bar is an extremely popular hangout for Moorpark College students on Wednesday nights, according to Edgar, who was speaking with friends who were inside when the shooting began.
One texted him that she was hiding in a bathroom, fearing for her life. But Edgar said he was hopeful that his friends were safe.
Some of them, sadly, had been through this before.
“There are a few people we can’t get a hold of, but in these situations people usually turn off their phones to be safe so I’m not gonna get too worried. A lot of my friends survived Route 91,” he said. “If they survived that, they will survive this.”