Of­fi­cial: Shooter on­line dur­ing at­tack

In­ves­ti­ga­tors look­ing into whether gun­man was look­ing for ex-girl­friend

Santa Fe New Mexican - - NATION - By Jonathan J. Cooper and Michael Balsamo

THOU­SAND OAKS, Calif. — The gun­man who killed 12 peo­ple at a coun­try mu­sic bar in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia went on so­cial me­dia dur­ing the at­tack and posted about his men­tal state and whether peo­ple would be­lieve he was sane, a law en­force­ment of­fi­cial said Fri­day.

Also, one of the pos­si­bil­i­ties in­ves­ti­ga­tors are look­ing into is whether gun­man Ian David Long be­lieved his for­mer girl­friend would be at the bar, the of­fi­cial said.

Au­thor­i­ties have not de­ter­mined a mo­tive for Wed­nes­day’s night ram­page at the Border­line Bar & Grill.

The of­fi­cial — who was briefed on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion but not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss it pub­licly and spoke to the As­so­ci­ated Press on con­di­tion of anonymity — would not give ad­di­tional de­tails on what the 28-year-old for­mer Marine posted on his Face­book and In­sta­gram ac­counts.

Nei­ther Face­book nor In­sta­gram had any im­me­di­ate com­ment.

Long, a for­mer ma­chine gun­ner who served in Afghanistan, opened fire with a hand­gun dur­ing col­lege night at the bar, then ap­par­ently killed him­self as scores of po­lice of­fi­cers closed in.

As in­ves­ti­ga­tors worked to fig­ure out what set him off, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump blamed men­tal ill­ness, de­scrib­ing the gun­man as “a very sick puppy” who had “a lot of prob­lems.”

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have not com­mented on whether men­tal ill­ness played a role in the ram­page. But a men­tal health spe­cial­ist who as­sessed Long af­ter sher­iff ’s deputies re­sponded to a call about his ag­i­tated be­hav­ior last spring wor­ried he might be suf­fer­ing from post­trau­matic stress dis­or­der.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened in April, when yelling and loud bang­ing noises com­ing from the home Long shared with his mother prompted a next-door neigh­bor to call au­thor­i­ties. The men­tal health spe­cial­ist con­cluded there were no grounds to have him in­vol­un­tar­ily com­mit­ted.

At the White House, Trump touted his ef­forts to fund work on PTSD among vet­er­ans. He de­clined to en­gage on ques­tions on whether the na­tion needs stricter gun con­trol laws.

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