Gun­man posted mes­sages

The Dallas Morning News - - Nation -

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.

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