Cop among 12 killed in LA bar shooting
A GUNMAN killed 12 people including a sheriff’s deputy when he opened fire on revelers in a crowded country and western bar in Los Angeles late on Wednesday night, police said.
The gunman was also killed, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told a news conference early yesterday, though it was not immediately clear by whom.
An unknown number of people were wounded after the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill, a popular venue with college students and local young adults for parties and dancing in the suburb of Thousand Oaks. It was the third mass shooting in the United States in under two weeks, six days after the death of two women at a yoga class in Tallahassee, Florida, and 12 days after a gunman killed 11 worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, shouting “All Jews must die.”
“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Dean said. “There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that. We don’t know who shot anybody at this point.”
The dead officer was identified as Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department, Dean told reporters. Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer were the first to arrive at the bar. After a lull of about 15 minutes, more officers went inside and found the suspected gunman dead of a gunshot wound. It was not clear whether he killed himself or was killed by officers, Dean said.
US President Donald Trump, who has resisted a surge in calls for tougher gun controls since 17 students were shot dead at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida earlier this year, said on Twitter that he had been “fully briefed on the terrible shooting in California.”
“Great bravery shown by police,” Trump tweeted. “God bless all of the victims and families of the victims.”
Jerry Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said lawmakers would get to work on legislation including universal background checks when the House of Representatives convenes in January with a Democratic majority. “We must find a way to stop the senseless, and many times preventable killings that are robbing our country of innocent lives,” he tweeted.
A witness to the shootings, Taylor Von Molt, 21, who said she was a promotor at the bar, said the gunman wore a black mask with a bandana covering the bottom of his face, and a black hoodie.
She thought it was a balloon. “Then I saw him fire his weapon. I ran to the nearest exit and tripped and people kept running on top of me.”