Four IS car bombs kil­latleast­20peo­ple

Yorkshire Post - - UK & ABROAD -

MOURN­ERS HAVE gath­ered to hold hands, sing and to won­der how one of the safest cities in Amer­ica could be­come a killing zone.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple gath­ered to re­mem­ber the dozen peo­ple shot and killed by a ma­rine vet­eran at the packed Border­line Bar & Grill on Wed­nes­day night.

It was a scene of hor­ror en­acted in many places around the coun­try in re­cent months, but never be­fore in Thou­sand Oaks.

Ter­ri­fied pa­trons who had gath­ered for the weekly line danc­ing and col­lege night hurled bar stools through win­dows to es­cape or threw their bod­ies pro­tec­tively on top of friends as shots erupted.

Twelve peo­ple were killed in­clud­ing Ven­tura County sher­iff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year vet­eran near­ing re­tire­ment who re­sponded to re­ports of shots fired and was gunned down as he en­tered the bar.

He and other first re­spon­ders “ran to­ward dan­ger”, Sher­iff Ge­off Dean said at the vigil.

“When I told her (his wife) that we had lost her hero, I said to her, ‘Be­cause of Ron, many lives were saved’,” Mr Dean said. “And she looked at me through her tears and she said, ‘He would have wanted it that way’.”

The dead also in­cluded a man who had sur­vived last year’s mas­sacre in Las Ve­gas, Telemachus Or­fanos, 27.

“I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts,” his mother Su­san Sch­midt-Or­fanos said ear­lier. “I want those b***ards in Con­gress – they need to pass gun con­trol so no one else has a child that doesn’t come home.”

The city of about 130,000 peoa ple, about 40 miles from Los An­ge­les, is an­nu­ally listed as one of the safest cities in Amer­ica.

“Hope has sus­tained com­mu­ni­ties, very much like Thou­sand Oaks, through the ex­act same triages of mass shoot­ings,” said Andy Fox, the city’s out­go­ing mayor. “Tonight Thou­sand Oaks takes its place with those cities, who in or­der to move for­ward will rely on hope. we are Thou­sand Oaks strong.”

The mo­tive for the at­tack is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The killer, Ian David Long, 28, was a for­mer ma­chine gun­ner and Afghanistan war vet­eran who was in­ter­viewed by po­lice at his home last spring af­ter an episode of ag­i­tated be­hav­iour that au­thor­i­ties were told might be post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der.

Dressed all in black with his hood pulled up, Long opened fire with a hand­gun with an il­le­gal, ex­tra-ca­pac­ity mag­a­zine. He shot se­cu­rity guard out­side the bar and then went in and took aim at em­ploy­ees and cus­tomers, au­thor­i­ties said.

He ap­par­ently killed him­self as scores of po­lice con­verged on the nightspot.

It was the na­tion’s dead­li­est such at­tack since 17 stu­dents and teach­ers were killed at a Florida high school nine months ago. It also came less than two weeks af­ter a gun­man mas­sa­cred 11 peo­ple at a syn­a­gogue in Pitts­burgh.

Demo­cratic gover­nor-elect Gavin New­som, in his first pub­lic ap­pear­ance since win­ning of­fice on Tues­day, lamented the vi­o­lence that has re­turned to Cal­i­for­nia.

“It’s a gun cul­ture,” he said. “You can’t go to a bar or night­club? You can’t go to church or syn­a­gogue? It’s in­sane is the only way to de­scribe it. The nor­mal­i­sa­tion, that’s the only way I can de­scribe it. It’s be­come nor­malised.”

Four car bombs have been trig­gered by Is­lamic ex­trem­ists out­side a ho­tel in the cap­i­tal, killing at least 20 peo­ple and in­jur­ing 17, po­lice said.

Af­ter three ini­tial ex­plo­sions in front of the ho­tel in Mogadishu, a fourth blast hit as medics at­tempted to res­cue the in­jured.

The bombs det­o­nated near the Sa­hafi Ho­tel, across the street from the So­mali Po­lice Force’s Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions De­part­ment.

Some vic­tims were burned be­yond recog­ni­tion when one car bomb ex­ploded next to a minibus, po­lice said.

Peo­ple gather to pray for the vic­tims of the mass shoot­ing dur­ing a can­dle­light vigil in Thou­sand Oaks, Cal­i­for­nia.

Justin Veditz, left, and his girl­friend Tay­lor Van Molt hug dur­ing a vigil to re­mem­ber the vic­tims.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.