photo credit: David McNew l Getty Images
Twelve people were killed, and multiple injured after a mass shooting last night in Thousand Oaks.
A horrific tragedy occurred Wednesday night, after a gunman opened fire in a packed bar, filled with college students. The shooter was identified as 29-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran Ian David Long. Borderline Bar & Grill was hosting its weekly College Country Night, however, while students were enjoying themselves line dancing, a man dressed in all black began firing his .45 caliber handgun. The first round of shots reportedly began at 11:20PM.
According to CNN, investigators believe Long drove to the bar and shot the security guard standing outside and shot other employees inside. According to law enforcement, Long has had troubles in the past and one where officers were called to a disturbance at his home.
Ventura County sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus was killed last night. Helus has been with the department for almost 30 years and had plans to retire next year. He was struck multiple times with gunshots.
The Thousand Oaks bar is near several colleges. Anyone 18 or older was able to get in for college night. The suspect was found dead but it is not clear whether he was killed by law enforcement.
Witness, Taylor Von Molt, said she was line dancing when she heard what sounded like a balloon pop. She also said that she saw the gunman and ran for the nearest exit. Multiple witnesses say that people ran everywhere and some escaped through the back door. The bomb squad reportedly arrived and checked the scene and the area.
Another witness, Nick Steinwender, who is a student at Cal Lutheran said that his friends were inside the bar when the shooting occurred. He recalls the night saying, “It was chaos, people jumping out of windows, hopping over gates and just trying to get out. From what I heard, the gunman starting shooting at the front desk… Students were hiding in the attics, bathrooms, stuff like that.”
The situation is ongoing and details continue to come up.
Thousand Oaks is considered to be one the safest cities in the country. Our deepest condolences are with the families affected and their loved ones.