Troubled ex-Marine was known to au­thor­i­ties,


Be­fore au­thor­i­ties said he opened fire at a Thou­sand Oaks bar, killing 12 peo­ple Wed­nes­day night, Ian David Long was known among his neigh­bors in New­bury Park as a troubled ex-Marine who ap­peared to have se­ri­ous men­tal health prob­lems.

Dressed in black, Long, 28, made the five-mile drive from his home to the Border­line Bar and Grill, where he tossed smoke bombs and rained bul­lets on a crowd of 150 to 200 peo­ple, law en­force­ment of­fi­cials said.

Au­thor­i­ties said Long car­ried out the at­tack armed with a Glock 21 .45-cal­iber hand­gun, which he pur­chased legally in Simi Val­ley, but had ap­par­ently mod­i­fied with an extended mag­a­zine.

Ven­tura County Sher­iff Ge­off Dean said Long was found dead of an ap­par­ent gun­shot wound in an of­fice in­side the bar. Au­thor­i­ties sus­pect he killed him­self af­ter car­ry­ing out the at­tack. Dean said of­fi­cials dis­cussed whether the gun­man suf­fered from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der, or PTSD.

Dean said his depart­ment had had sev­eral in­ter­ac­tions with Long, in­clud­ing a visit to his home in April for a com­plaint of dis­turb­ing the peace. Deputies at the time said Long was irate and act­ing ir­ra­tionally, Dean said. They called in men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als to eval­u­ate him, and they con­cluded he did not need to be taken into cus­tody. Long was the vic­tim of a bat­tery at a dif­fer­ent Thou­sand Oaks bar in Jan­uary 2015, Dean said.

Neigh­bor Richard Berge, 77, said Long was known to kick holes in the walls of the ranch-style house on Fowler Av­enue where he lived with his mother.

“She’s a very sweet woman, but she had a lot of prob­lems with the son,” Berge said. “I just know he tore the house up.”

On Thurs­day morn­ing, a green light in a dec­o­ra­tive fix­ture next to the garage of the three-bed­room home il­lu­mi­nated the drive­way as au­thor­i­ties hud­dled out­side. The light is com­monly used to honor mil­i­tary vet­er­ans.

Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Marines, Long served be­tween 2008 and 2013 and was a ma­chine gun­ner. He was sta­tioned in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011.

He re­ceived stan­dard mil­i­tary honors in­clud­ing the Navy Unit Com­men­da­tion, the Navy Mer­i­to­ri­ous Unit Com­men­da­tion, Com­bat Ac­tion Rib­bon and Marine Corps Good Con­duct Medal. In 2011, he at­tained the rank of cor­po­ral. His last post was at Ka­neohe Bay in Hawaii.

Af­ter leav­ing the mil­i­tary, Long en­rolled in 2013 at Cal State Northridge, where he stud­ied ath­letic train­ing. He left school in 2016 with­out grad­u­at­ing, ac­cord­ing to the univer­sity.

Blake Win­nett, a set builder from Simi Val­ley, said he lived with Long for about two years af­ter they met in 2013. They roomed to­gether in Simi Val­ley and later in Reseda while Long at­tended col­lege.

Win­nett re­called his for­mer room­mate as quiet – al­most reclu­sive, keeping to him­self and ad­her­ing to rou­tines.

“He wasn’t out­go­ing or talk­a­tive,” Win­nett said. “He kept to him­self, al­ways had his ear­buds in. He went to the gym, went to class, or rode his mo­tor­cy­cle.”

Win­nett said he would some­times coax his hes­i­tant room­mate into go­ing out and grab­bing a drink at var­i­ous wa­ter­ing holes in Los An­ge­les and around Simi Val­ley.

Long, he said, oc­ca­sion­ally went to Border­line, but the bar’s Western vibe wasn’t re­ally his scene.

“He’s not re­ally a coun­try guy,” Win­nett said.

Long was known to keep a hand­gun at the home he and Win­nett shared with a few other room­mates. It didn’t strike Win­nett, a gun owner him­self, as un­usual.

Win­nett said Long had his share of quirks. Some­times, he would stay in the San Fer­nando Val­ley home’s garage for hours in swel­ter­ing heat, lis­ten­ing to elec­tronic dance mu­sic and Dub­step and danc­ing alone.

“He did it all by him­self. Maybe he was just em­bar­rassed by it? But he’d be in the garage for an hour, 100 de­grees out­side and in the mid­dle of the day,” he said.

Win­nett said Long also dab­bled in MDMA, a club drug known as molly. He said his for­mer room­mate also took painkillers af­ter a mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent on a free­way around 2015 that left him with in­juries to his hand.

On Thurs­day morn­ing, Win­nett was wrestling with his mem­o­ries and phon­ing old room­mates to make sense of what hap­pened. Win­nett, who last spoke to Long a year ago, said he couldn’t see Long car­ry­ing out such a mas­sacre.

How­ever, an­other for­mer room­mate who re­quested anonymity to pro­tect her pri­vacy, said it seemed ev­i­dent that Long had some PTSD and wasn’t happy about his time in the mil­i­tary. Long’s per­son­al­ity, she said, changed af­ter the mo­tor­cy­cle crash. The ac­ci­dent re­quired Long to un­dergo surg­eries and left him un­able to work out, she said.

“He started taking pills for his pain and he was just not the same. His de­meanor def­i­nitely changed. I didn’t know if it was due to the ac­ci­dent it­self and the pain, or the pills,” she said. “He had a char­ac­ter change and was more iso­lated.”

Long’s mother would of­ten come over to as­sist her son as he re­cov­ered. Long was an only child and was close to his mother, ac­cord­ing to Win­nett and the other for­mer room­mates.

Af­ter Long left the residence in Reseda, he moved in with his mom. Long con­tin­ued re­ceiv­ing mail at his old place – from the Depart­ment of Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles, from CSUN – and the ex-room­mate would call, text and Face­book mes­sage Long but he never re­sponded.

She won­ders if she could have done more.

“In ret­ro­spect, should I have done some­thing?” she said. “I did think to my­self, I re­mem­ber vo­cal­iz­ing this: ‘If I know any­one that might be­come a shooter, it would be Ian.’ I don’t think it’s nor­mal to spend nine months in a room, which is what he did af­ter the mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent. He’d go to his kitchen, his bed­room and that was it.”

Be­fore he en­listed, Long was among New­bury Park High School’s class of 2008, ac­cord­ing to a lo­cal news­pa­per’s list of grad­u­ates. He was a re­serve out­fielder on the var­sity base­ball team dur­ing his ju­nior year af­ter he trans­ferred to the school from El Mo­dena High School in Orange County.

Scott Drootin, who coached Long on the Pan­thers in 2007, said he was a very quiet teen who mostly kept to him­self. Long spoke about plans to join the mil­i­tary af­ter high school, and of­ten wore an Army jacket, Drootin re­called.

“He was re­spect­ful,” Drootin said. “He wasn’t a very happy kid. I al­ways try to make kids smile and he never did. He was kind of a loner.”

Long mar­ried in 2009 but filed for di­vorce jointly with his wife in May 2013 in Ven­tura County, ac­cord­ing to court records. The di­vorce was fi­nal­ized eight months later.

In April, Tom Han­son, 70, who lives near the Long’s home, called po­lice when he over­heard the 28-year-old one morn­ing tear­ing the house apart. Han­son was wor­ried that Long would hurt him­self.

“I am not sur­prised, but I’m shocked,” Han­son said.

Neigh­bor Nick Dichirico said he was lucky to get a hello from Long when­ever he saw him. Dichirico knows neigh­bors who live around Long’s home, and he reg­u­larly talks to them while walk­ing his dog.

“He was one per­son that wouldn’t talk to any­body,” Dichirico said. “Ev­ery­body around here knows ev­ery­body, and ev­ery­body knows what’s go­ing on, and this is a sur­prise to wake up to this morn­ing.”


Ven­tura County Sher­iff’s deputies stand out­side the house of shooting sus­pect David Ian Long in New­bury Park, Calif., on Thurs­day.

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