Gun­man storms club, killing at least 12

The Modesto Bee - - Front Page - BY SEAN GREENE, ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN AND BRITTNY ME­JIA Los An­ge­les Times

THOU­SAND OAKS

A for­mer U.S. Marine ma­chine gun­ner who may have suf­fered from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der burst into a Thou­sand Oaks bar packed with col­lege stu­dents late Wed­nes­day night, tossed a smoke bomb into the crowd and opened fire, au­thor­i­ties said.

Eleven peo­ple were killed, in ad­di­tion to a sher­iff’s sergeant re­spond­ing to the scene who was gunned down by the as­sailant min­utes later. The shoot­ing left 12 peo­ple dead and 18 oth­ers in­jured, some who were hurt try­ing to es­cape.

The sus­pected gun­man, Ian David Long, was found dead of a gun­shot wound in a back room at the Border­line Bar and Grill. The amount of blood in­side the bar made it dif­fi­cult to tell whether he shot him­self or was killed by law en­force­ment, Ven­tura County Sher­iff Ge­off Dean said.

Long, 28, lived in New­bury Park. He did not say any­thing be­fore open­ing fire, a law en­force­ment of­fi­cial said.

Long had served a sev­en­month tour in Afghanistan dur­ing his nearly five years in the ser­vice, ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of De­fense.

Neigh­bors said they sus­pected he had emo­tional is­sues. Deputies who were called to Long’s home in April for a com­plaint of dis­turb­ing the peace said he was irate and was act­ing ir­ra­tionally, Dean said. Men­tal health work­ers de­cided he did not meet the stan­dard for an emer­gency psy­chi­atric hold.

Ven­tura Sher­iff’s Sgt. Ron Helus had been talk­ing to his wife on the phone when he re­ceived a ra­dio call about the shoot­ing, Dean said.

Helus and a Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol of­fi­cer were the first peo­ple to run into the bar, about four min­utes af­ter the first 911 call, Dean said. Helus was shot mul­ti­ple times, al­most im­me­di­ately, and the CHP of­fi­cer dragged him out of the build­ing. Helus died early Thurs­day morn­ing at a hos­pi­tal. He was a 29-year vet­eran of the depart­ment who planned to re­tire in a year or two, Dean said.

The shooter was armed with a Glock 21 .45-cal­iber hand­gun, Dean said.

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