Official: Shooter online during attack
Investigators looking into whether gunman was looking for ex-girlfriend
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.