Marine com­bat vet­eran kills 12 in ram­page

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Krysta Fau­ria and Jonathan J. Cooper

Ter­ri­fied pa­trons hurled barstools through win­dows to es­cape or threw their bod­ies pro­tec­tively on top of friends as a Marine com­bat vet­eran killed 12 peo­ple at a coun­try mu­sic bar in an at­tack that added Thou­sand Oaks to the tragic ros­ter of Amer­i­can ci­ties trau­ma­tized by mass shoot­ings.

Dressed all in black with his hood pulled up, the gun­man ap­par­ently took his own life as scores of po­lice con­verged on the Border­line Bar & Grill in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

The mo­tive for the ram­page late Wed­nes­day night was un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The killer , Ian David Long, 28, was a for­mer ma­chine gun­ner and Afghanistan war vet­eran who was in­ter­viewed by po­lice at his home last spring af­ter an episode of ag­i­tated be­hav­ior that au­thor­i­ties were told might be post­trau­matic stress dis­or­der.

Open­ing fire with a hand­gun with an il­le­gal, ex­tra-ca­pac­ity mag­a­zine, Long shot a se­cu­rity guard out­side the bar and then went in and took aim at em­ploy­ees and pa­trons, au­thor­i­ties said. He also used a smoke bomb, ac­cord­ing to a law en­force­ment of­fi­cial who was not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the in­ves­ti­ga­tion pub­licly and spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

The dead in­cluded a vet­eran sher­iff’s deputy who rushed in to con­front the gun­man, as well as a 22-year-old man who planned to join the Army, a fresh­man at nearby Pep­per­dine Univer­sity and a re­cent Cal Lutheran grad­u­ate.

“It’s a hor­rific scene in there,” Ven­tura County Sher­iff Ge­off Dean said in the park­ing lot. “There’s blood ev­ery­where.”

Sur­vivors of the ram­page — mostly young peo­ple who had gone out for col­lege night at the Border­line, a hang­out pop­u­lar with stu­dents from nearby Cal­i­for­nia Lutheran Univer­sity — seemed to know what to do, hav­ing come of age in an era of ac­tive-shooter drills and deadly ram­pages hap­pen­ing with ter­ri­fy­ing fre­quency.

Sev­eral of the sur­vivors said they were also at the out­door coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val in Las Ve­gas last year when a gun­man in a high-rise ho­tel killed 58 peo­ple.

Many of the es­ti­mated 150 pa­trons at the Border­line dived un­der ta­bles, ran for the ex­its, broke through win­dows or hid in the at­tic and bath­rooms, au­thor­i­ties and wit­nesses said.

“Un­for­tu­nately our young peo­ple, peo­ple at night­clubs, have learned that this may hap­pen, and they think about that,” the sher­iff said. “For­tu­nately it helped save a lot of lives that they fled the scene so rapidly.”

Matt Wen­ner­strom said he pulled peo­ple be­hind a pool ta­ble, and he and friends shielded women with their bod­ies af­ter hear­ing the shots. When the gun­man paused to reload, Wen­ner­strom said, he used a barstool to shat­ter a win­dow and then helped about 30 peo­ple es­cape. He heard an­other vol­ley of shots af­ter they got out.

“All I wanted to do was get as many peo­ple out of there as pos­si­ble,” he told KABC-TV. “I know where I’m go­ing if I die, so I was not wor­ried.”

The tragedy left a com­mu­nity that is an­nu­ally listed as one of the safest ci­ties in Amer­ica reel­ing. Shoot­ings of any kind are ex­tremely rare in Thou­sand Oaks, a city of about 130,000 peo­ple about 40 miles from Los An­ge­les, just across the county line.

MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Mourn­ers em­brace out­side of the Thou­sand Oaks Teen Cen­ter, where rel­a­tives and friends gath­ered in the af­ter­math of a mass shoot­ing, Thurs­day, Nov. 8 in Thou­sand Oaks, Calif.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.