Shooter wrote about in­san­ity in mes­sages

The Beaufort Gazette - - Stay Connected - BY JAMES QUEALLY, RICHARD WIN­TON AND MATT HAMIL­TON

The ex-Ma­rine who gunned down 12 peo­ple dur­ing a mass shoot­ing in Thou­sand Oaks on Wed­nes­day night was ap­par­ently post­ing to so­cial me­dia ei­ther dur­ing or right be­fore he car­ried out the at­tacks, law en­force­ment of­fi­cials said.

Ian David Long pub­lished mes­sages or pic­tures to In­sta­gram around the same time gun­fire erupted in­side the Border­line Bar and Grill on Wed­nes­day night, ac­cord­ing to two law en­force­ment of­fi­cials who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity in order to dis­cuss the case can­didly.

In the posts, Long wrote that he hoped peo­ple would re­fer to him as “in­sane” af­ter the shoot­ings, and openly mocked the “thoughts and prayers” that are of­fered in pub­lic state­ments and on so­cial me­dia af­ter mass shoot­ings, ac­cord­ing to one of the of­fi­cials.

The post­ings have since been scrubbed from In­sta­gram and Face­book, the of­fi­cials said.

Capt. Garo Kured­jian, a Ven­tura County Sher­iff’s Depart­ment spokesman, said in­ves­ti­ga­tors were aware of In­sta­gram posts Long made the night of the shoot­ing. Kured­jian said he had viewed the post­ings but de­clined to de­scribe them.

Long en­tered the bar, which was host­ing a weekly pro­mo­tion pop­u­lar with area col­lege stu­dents, around 11:20 p.m. and be­gan shoot­ing at peo­ple near the front door, ac­cord­ing to Ven­tura County Sher­iff Ge­off Dean.

Within min­utes, Sgt. Ron Helus and a Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol of­fi­cer en­tered the bar and en­gaged in a fire­fight with Long, who was armed with a semi­au­to­matic pis­tol.

Helus was shot sev­eral times and died at an area hos­pi­tal hours later. Long was found dead of a gun­shot wound in the back of the bar, though it re­mains un­clear if he took his own life or died af­ter be­ing shot by po­lice.

The other 11 vic­tims, most of whom have been iden­ti­fied by rel­a­tives or so­cial me­dia posts, are: Sean Adler, 48, Cody Coff­man, 22, Blake Ding­man, 21, Jake Dunham, 21, Alaina Hous­ley, 18, Dan Man­rique, 33, Justin Meek, 23, Kristina Morisette, 20, Mark Meza Jr., 20, Telemachus Or­fanos, 27, and Noel Sparks, 21.

A mo­tive for the slaugh­ter re­mains un­clear. In­ves­ti­ga­tors have searched Long’s home and scoured his on­line writ­ings, said Kured­jian, who warned that find­ing an­swers could take time. The crime scene alone could take sev­eral days to process, he said.

“If there is a mo­tive, we can per­haps pre­vent some­thing like this hap­pen­ing in the fu­ture,” Kured­jian said. “We owe it to the fam­i­lies that need an an­swer. We owe it to our sergeant’s fam­ily.”

While the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing, law en­force­ment of­fi­cials told the Los An­ge­les Times it did not ap­pear Long had any con­nec­tion to known for­eign or do­mes­tic ter­ror or hate groups.

Peo­ple who had lived with or knew Long said the gun­man had prob­lems with ag­gres­sion and may have strug­gled with men­tal health is­sues af­ter his dis­charge from the Marines in 2010. It was not clear if he was ever for­mally di­ag­nosed with post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der, a con­di­tion some who knew Long said he suf­fered from.

The As­so­ci­ated Press con­trib­uted to this re­port.


Alexa Bre­vig, 18, with her brother, Devin Bre­vig, shows her hands Fri­day – still marked with “Xs” for be­ing un­der 21 at the bar – as she re­counts the night of the shoot­ing.

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