Bar shooter exMarine; killed 12
THOUSAND OAKS: The shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, that killed 12 people on Wednesday night (local time) was carried out by a former US marine combat veteran who appears to have been acting alone.
The gunman, identified by police as 28yearold Ian David Long, was found dead of an apparently selfinflicted gunshot wound following the massacre at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, a suburb 64km northwest of downtown Los Angeles, law enforcement officials said.
Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles FBI office, said it was too early to speculate on the shooter’s motives but he appeared to have acted alone.
‘‘We will be sure to paint a picture of the state of mind of the subject and do our best to identify a motivation,’’ he said.
Long opened fire, seemingly at random, inside the barnstyle, Westernthemed bar about 11.30pm, using a .45 calibre Glock handgun equipped with a highcapacity magazine, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.
Long was in the Marine Corps from 2008 to 2013, reaching the rank of corporal and serving as a machine gunner in Afghanistan, and the sheriff said he might have suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder.
‘‘Obviously, he had something going on in his head that would cause him to do something like this.’’
Dean said that in April, officers had gone to Long’s home in nearby Newbury Park, about 6km from the bar, to answer a disturbance call and found him agitated. Mental health specialists talked with Long and determined that no further action was necessary, the sheriff said.
‘‘He was raving hell in the house, you know, kicking holes in the walls and stuff and one of the neighbours was concerned and called the police,’’ Richard Berge, who lived nearby, told Reuters. ‘‘They couldn’t get him to come out, so it was like a standoff for four or five hours.’’
Berge, who took care of Long’s mother’s dogs, said she told him after that incident she worried her son might take his own life, but she did not fear he would hurt her.
Asked what the scene inside the bar was like, Dean said, ‘‘Like . . . hell.’’ Earlier he had described it as ‘‘a horrific scene in there. There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that.’’
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said 21 people had been treated for injuries and discharged from area hospitals.
Cole Knapp (19) was inside the bar when the shooting began and told Reuters he saw the gunman walk in and stop at the counter, as if to pay a cover charge, before he heard gunshots ring out and a young woman at the counter was hit with multiple rounds.
‘‘It took a couple of seconds for people to realise what was going on and once that happened it was just utter chaos,’’ he said.
Knapp said he helped people hide behind a pool table and then fled outside, alerting people on an outdoor smoking patio and helping carry a victim to an ambulance.
The massacre was the latest shooting rampage in the United States amid a fierce debate over gun control.
In the hours after the shooting, concerned family members gathered at a nearby teen centre waiting to learn the fate of loved ones.
Jason Coffman wept as he told reporters that his son, Cody (22), was among the dead.
At nightfall more than 2000 mourners gathered at a local performing arts centre for a candlelight vigil on behalf of the victims, singing Amazing Grace and praying. — Reuters
Devastated . . . A mourner holds a photo of one of the victims as she arrives at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza for a vigil following the shooting.