The gunman who entered a Southern California bar Wednesday evening and shot lifeless 12 individuals, together with a sheriff’s sergeant, earlier than killing himself has been recognized as U.S. Marine Corps veteran Ian David Lengthy.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean mentioned Lengthy, 28, was discovered lifeless within the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks late Wednesday. Dean mentioned it is believed he killed himself.
‘We thought it was a joke’: Witnesses recount the chaotic scene as a gunman opened fireplace:
A gunman opened fireplace round 11:20 p.m. PT on the crowded country-and-western bar about 65 kilometres northwest of Los Angeles, sending lots of fleeing, together with some who used barstools to interrupt home windows and escape. Police mentioned lots of had been inside on the time.
Dean mentioned Lengthy first shot a safety guard and different employees close to the door after which patrons.
Among the many lifeless was sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, who was shot a number of instances as he entered the constructing.
At the moment we mourn the lack of Sergeant Ron Helus who gave his life serving the group. Please preserve his household and the households of the victims in your ideas and prayers. <a href=”https://t.co/EwDsnPRDCs”>pic.twitter.com/EwDsnPRDCs</a>
Dean mentioned Helus, a 29-year veteran of the pressure who was set to retire quickly, died in hospital early Thursday.
“It is a horrific scene in there,” Dean mentioned throughout a information convention Thursday morning. “There’s blood in every single place.”
Dean mentioned round 10 different individuals had been injured and brought to native hospitals. Others had fled and brought themselves to hospital. Individuals had been hiding in loos and the attic of the bar, and a few escaped by breaking home windows, Dean mentioned.
The mayor of Thousand Oaks mentioned next-of-kin notifications are being ready concerning the individuals who had been killed and wounded.
Mayor Andrew Fox mentioned it’s a “very troublesome day for many individuals.”
Jason Coffman instructed reporters his son, Cody, was amongst these killed.
“I’m speechless and heartbroken,” he mentioned.
Actor Tamera Mowry-Housley, recognized for the 1990s sitcom Sister Sister, and her husband say their 18-year-old niece, Alaina Housely, was amongst these killed.
They are saying their “hearts are damaged” and say they’re “devastated that her life was reduce brief on this method.”
No different info on the victims was instantly recognized.
U.S. President Donald Trump praised police for his or her “nice bravery” within the assault and ordered that flags be flown at half-mast on the White Home and public buildings within the U.S., in addition to at abroad diplomatic and army websites till Saturday night, to honour the victims.
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 is a gun tradition. It is a tradition, and it is not about being Democrat or Republican,” he mentioned. “You possibly can’t go to a bar or nightclub? You possibly can’t go to church or synagogue? It is insane is the one method to describe it … It is turn out to be normalized.”
Gunman acted alone, police imagine
Dean mentioned Lengthy was performing alone, armed with a Glock 21 — a .45-calibre handgun designed to carry 10 rounds plus one within the chamber. However the sheriff mentioned the gun had an prolonged journal that’s unlawful in California.
Lengthy joined the marines in 2008. He served within the warfare in Afghanistan for seven months starting in late 2010, the Marine Corps mentioned, and was awarded a number of ribbons, commendations and medals.
It was not instantly clear what Lengthy did after leaving energetic responsibility.
California State College, Northridge, mentioned in an announcement that Lengthy was a scholar, final attending the college in 2016. The assertion had no additional particulars.
Dean mentioned his division had earlier contact with Lengthy, together with a name to his dwelling in April, when deputies discovered him behaving irate and irrationally.
The sheriff mentioned a psychological well being disaster workforce was referred to as at the moment and concluded that Lengthy didn’t have to be taken into custody.
Different prior encounters had been a visitors accident and an incident wherein Lengthy was the sufferer of battery at a bar.
Dean mentioned there may be nothing that might lead him to imagine terrorism was the motive, but it surely has not been dominated out. Authorities hope to be taught extra when a search warrant is served at Lengthy’s dwelling within the close by group of Newbury Park.
The gunman was tall and sporting all black with a hood over his head and his face partly coated, witnesses instructed TV stations on the scene. He first fired on an individual working the door after which appeared to open fireplace at random on the individuals inside, they mentioned.
Individuals screamed and fled to all corners of the bar, whereas a couple of individuals threw barstools by the home windows and helped dozens to flee, witnesses mentioned.
Scenes from Thousand Oaks, the place a gunman opened fireplace Wednesday evening in country-and-western bar:
School scholar Cole Knapp, 19, was contained in the bar when he noticed the gunman enter and begin capturing.
“I used to be simply with mates and I noticed the shooter stroll in, and he reached as much as the counter like he was going to place an ID or some cash up on the counter to pay his cowl cost,” mentioned Knapp, who lives close by. “And I simply sort of noticed it within the nook of my eye and I heard a gunshot, and I centered on him and I noticed that he was holding a handgun and he continued to shoot on the woman on the entrance desk.”
Tayler Whitler, 19, mentioned she was on the dance ground and her mates had been at a desk by the door because the gunman opened fireplace. She mentioned everybody yelled “Get down!” and it was silent for a pair seconds, then she heard “Stand up, he is coming!” and other people had been trampling on one another to get out.
“It was actually, actually, actually stunning,” Whitler instructed KABC-TV as she stood together with her father within the Borderline parking zone. “It appeared like he knew what he was doing.”
John Hedge mentioned that he and his stepfather had been within the bar when the gunman opened fireplace. He instructed CNN’s Brooke Baldwin that it had been like every other evening, with the basketball sport on within the background, when he heard “pop, pop, pop.”
“You simply do what you’ll be able to to strive … to get out of eyesight and attempt to get some cowl,” he mentioned.
The bar is a well-liked hangout for college kids from close by California Lutheran College. It is also near a number of different universities, together with California State College Channel Islands in Camarillo, Pepperdine College in Malibu and Moorpark School in Moorpark. The bar’s web site says it hosts “School Nation Night time” each Wednesday.
Cal Lutheran, with about 4,300 college students, has cancelled lessons and mentioned on its web site that the college group is invited to collect Thursday on the faculty’s chapel.
The sheriff’s workplace mentioned a procession will happen at 10 a.m. to move Helus by way of motorcade from Los Robles Hospital to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Workplace within the metropolis of Ventura.
Shootings of any type are uncommon in Thousand Oaks, a metropolis of about 130,000. It was named the third most secure metropolis within the U.S. for 2018 by the web site Area of interest.
“I’ve realized it would not matter what group you are in,” Dean instructed reporters when requested if he was shocked this occurred in Thousand Oaks. “It would not matter how protected your group is. It might occur anyplace.”