Vet­eran kills 12 in bar

Mo­tive un­known af­ter for­mer U.S. Ma­rine opens fire on danc­ing stu­dents

The Witness - - NEWS -

THOU­SAND OAKS (Cal­i­for­nia) — 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 on 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-cal­i­bre 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 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”.

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.”

Deputies were at the sus­pect’s house seek­ing a search war­rant. The gun used in the at­tack was a Glock hand­gun, which is de­signed to hold up to 10 rounds and one in the cham­ber.

“This weapon did have ex­tended mag­a­zines on it,” Dean said. “We do not know at this time how many rounds were ac­tu­ally in the weapon or how many rounds the mag­a­zine could ac­tu­ally hold be­cause it’s still be­ing pro­cessed as part of the ev­i­dence.”

Tris­tan Ap­pleby, a wit­ness who was at the bar, told CNN that the shooter was dressed all in black, and that the se­cu­rity guard at the front of the bar was shot early on in the as­sault. Ap­pleby said he saw the sus­pect fire off about a dozen shots, in­clud­ing at those al­ready wounded and ly­ing on the floor.

Cal­i­for­nia Lutheran Univer­sity, a pri­vate lib­eral arts school, is less than five miles (eight kilo­me­tres) away from the bar where the shoot­ing at­tack took place and it is a pop­u­lar venue with many stu­dents at­tend­ing the univer­sity.

School of­fi­cials said in a state­ment on its web­site that classes yes­ter­day were can­celled and the univer­sity com­mu­nity was in­vited to gather at the chapel.

Wit­ness 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. “... I ran to the near­est exit and tripped and fell on the way and peo­ple kept run­ning on top of me.”

Von Molt said she and oth­ers from Cal­i­for­nia Lutheran Univer­sity of­ten gath­ered there to line dance to coun­try mu­sic.

Dean es­ti­mated that 10 to 15 peo­ple, in­clud­ing one with a gun­shot wound, had gone to area hospi­tals.

— Reuters.

PHOTO: LOS AN­GE­LES TIMES VIA GETTY IM­AGES

Wit­nesses con­sole each other near the Border­line Bar & Grill af­ter a Ma­rine Corps vet­eran shot dead 12 peo­ple late on Wed­nes­day night in Thou­sand Oaks, Cal­i­for­nia.

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