Masked Marine kills 12 in tav­ern

Sus­pected shooter found dead in of­fice of pop­u­lar hang­out af­ter mas­sacre

Daily Dispatch - - World News -

A gun­man opened fire in a crowded South­ern Cal­i­for­nia bar pop­u­lar with col­lege stu­dents, killing 12 peo­ple, in­clud­ing a sher­iff’s deputy, po­lice said on Thurs­day.

The gun­man, iden­ti­fied by au­thor­i­ties as Ian David Long, 28, was also found dead on Wed­nes­day night in the of­fice of the Border­line Bar and Grill, lo­cated in Thou­sand Oaks, a sub­urb about 64km from Los An­ge­les, ap­par­ently hav­ing shot him­self.

Ven­tura County Sher­iff Ge­off Dean said on Thurs­day morn­ing that Long was a Marine Corps vet­eran and had ap­par­ently fired at ran­dom with a .45cal­i­bre Glock hand­gun with an ex­tra-ca­pac­ity mag­a­zine. There was no known mo­tive.

“Ob­vi­ously he had some­thing go­ing on in his head that would cause him to do some­thing like this,” Dean said.

“Ob­vi­ously he had some sort of is­sues.” He said au­thor­i­ties were ob­tain­ing a search war­rant for Long’s home.

The Border­line is pop­u­lar with uni­ver­sity stu­dents and on Wed­nes­day night was host­ing Col­lege Coun­try Night.

Cal­i­for­nia Lutheran Uni­ver­sity, can­celed Thurs­day’s classes while Pep­per­dine Uni­ver­sity, about 32km away, planned a prayer ser­vice.

One of the vic­tims was the sher­iff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year vet­eran of the depart­ment who died at a hospi­tal, Dean said. Helus and a Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol of­fi­cer were the first to ar­rive at the bar and went in­side just be­fore 1.30pm.

“Ron’s self­less, heroic ac­tions will never be for­got­ten,” a state­ment read.

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”.

Long first shot a se­cu­rity guard out­side the bar, stepped in­side and re­sumed shoot­ing, Dean said. Wit­nesses said Long had used smoke bombs to cre­ate con­fu­sion but Dean said that had not been con­firmed.

Dean, speak­ing on his last day be­fore re­tire­ment, said he had been told 150 to 200 peo­ple were in the Border­line at the time and that “it could have been much, much worse”.

Dean es­ti­mated 10 to 15 peo­ple, in­clud­ing one with a gun­shot wound, had gone to hos­pi­tals. He said he thought their in­juries were mi­nor, and that most of them were likely in­jured as they es­caped, some by break­ing win­dows.

Dean said of­fi­cers had gone to Long’s home in April in re­sponse to a dis­tur­bance call and had found him to be ag­i­tated. Men­tal health spe­cial­ists talked with Long and de­ter­mined that no fur­ther ac­tion was nec­es­sary.

Fam­ily mem­bers of pos­si­ble vic­tims or sur­vivors of the shoot­ing gath­ered at a teen cen­tre in Thou­sand Oaks for news of loved ones. A vis­i­bly dis­traught man was seen en­ter­ing the build­ing.

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, or­dered flags to be flown at half­staff at pub­lic build­ings and grounds. The Border­line mas­sacre was the fourth mass shoot­ing in the US in less than two weeks.

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 said on Twit­ter.

Thou­sand Oaks, a leafy, sprawl­ing sub­urb, was named the third-safest city in the US for 2018 by the web­site Niche.

“I’ve learned it doesn’t mat­ter what com­mu­nity you’re in,” Dean said.

“It doesn’t mat­ter how safe your com­mu­nity is.

It can hap­pen any­where.” Tris­tan Ap­pleby, who was at the bar, told CNN that the shooter was dressed all in black and had fired off about a dozen shots, in­clud­ing at those al­ready wounded and ly­ing on the floor. Wit­ness Tay­lor von Molt, 21, who said she was a pro­moter at the bar, said the gun­man wore a black mask with a ban­dana cov­er­ing the bot­tom of his face, and a black hooded sweat­shirt. “I heard what I thought was a bal­loon pop,” she told CNN. “I was con­fused be­cause we didn’t have any bal­loons.

“I ran to the near­est exit and tripped and fell on the way and peo­ple kept run­ning on top of me.” Wit­ness John Hedge saidhe was near the front door when the shoot­ing be­gan.

“I just started hear­ing th­ese big pops. Pop pop pop,” he said. “There was prob­a­bly three or four. I hit the ground. I look up. The se­cu­rity guard … was shot, he was down. The gun­man was throw­ing smoke grenades all over the place. I saw him point to the back at the cash regis­ter and he just kept fir­ing.” –

Fourth mass shoot­ing in the US in less than two weeks

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