Gunman posted messages
LOS ANGELES — The ex-Marine who gunned down 12 people at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Wednesday night apparently was posting to social media either during or right before he carried out the attacks, law enforcement officials say.
Ian David Long published messages or pictures to Instagram around the same time gunfire erupted inside the Borderline Bar and Grill, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the case candidly.
In the posts, Long wrote that he hoped people would refer to him as “insane” after the shootings, and openly mocked the “thoughts and prayers” that are offered in public statements and on social media after mass shootings, according to one of the officials. The posts have since been scrubbed from Instagram and Facebook, the officials said.
Capt. Garo Kuredjian, a Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman, said investigators were aware of Instagram posts Long made the night of the shooting. Kuredjian said he had viewed the posts but declined to describe them.
The motive for the slaughter remained unclear. Investigators have searched Long’s home and scoured his online writings, said Kuredjian, who warned that finding answers could take time. Processing the crime scene alone could take several days, he said.
“If there is a motive, we can perhaps prevent something like this happening in the future,” Kuredjian said. “We owe it to the families that need an answer,” including that of one of his officers who died trying to stop the killer.
Law enforcement officials told the Los Angeles Times it did not appear Long had any connection to known foreign or domestic terror or hate groups.
People who had lived with or knew Long said he had problems with aggression and may have struggled with mental health issues after his discharge from the Marines in 2010. It was not clear if he was ever formally diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder, a condition some who knew Long said he suffered from.