Gunman kills 12 including deputy in crowded California bar
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., (Reuters) - A U.S. Marine Corps veteran opened fire on a crowd of mostly college students and young adults dancing at a crowded country and western bar in a suburb of Los Angeles late Wednesday, killing 12 people including a sheriff’s deputy.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean named the suspect, who was also killed, as Ian Long, aged 28. Dean told a news conference Long had likely shot himself.
He said he appeared to have shot at random, using only a Glock .45-caliber handgun. There was no known motive.
An unknown number of people were wounded in the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill, a popular venue with college students and young adults in the suburb of Thousand Oaks. Wednesday was dubbed “College Country Night”.
Dean said there were six off-duty law enforcement officers from various agencies in the bar when the shootings occurred, and some survivors said the law enforcement officers stood in front of them to protect them.
“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Dean said earlier. “There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that.”
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”.
“INNOCENT LIVES” 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.
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.”
Thousand Oaks was named the thirdsafest city in the United States for 2018 by the website Niche.
“I’ve learned it doesn’t matter what community you’re in,” Dean told reporters when asked if he was surprised this happened in Thousand Oaks. “It doesn’t matter how safe your community is. It can happen anywhere.”