12 killed in bar shooting
Killer identified as former US Marine with mental issues
Twelve people including a sheriff ’s sergeant were killed in a mass shooting inside a crowded southern California bar by a gunman who is then believed to have taken his own life.
The killer was identified as Ian David Long, a 28-year-old former US Marine with mental issues, with investigators trying to find the motive for the attack at a venue hosting a country music evening for students.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said his department had several previous contacts with Long, including a call to his home in April, when deputies found him angry and acting irrationally.
The sheriff said a mental health crisis team was called at the time and concluded Long did not need to be taken into custody.
Patrons at the bar screamed in fear, shouted “Get down!” and used bar stools to smash secondfloor windows and jump to safety as gunfire erupted at the Borderline Bar & Grill, a venue popular with students from nearby California Lutheran University.
The dead included 11 people inside the bar and a sheriff ’s sergeant who was the first officer inside the door, the sheriff said.
“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Mr Dean said.
“I dropped to the floor,” Sarah Rose DeSon told ABC’s Good Morning America.
“A friend yelled, ‘Everybody down!’ We were hiding behind tables trying to keep ourselves covered.”
Sheriff ’s Sergeant Ron Helus and a highway patrolman arrived at the Borderline around 11.20pm in response to several 911 calls, heard gunfire and went inside, the sheriff said.
Sgt Helus was immediately hit with multiple gunshots.
SHOCK: People comfort each other near the Borderline Bar & Grill after the fatal gun attack