Devastation in Thousand Oaks, California, a suburb north of Los Angeles. A mass shooting, this time at a packed bar hosting college night. At least 13 people were killed, including the suspected gunman. Another 12 are said to be injured. Most of those injuries are said to be a result of the chaos trying to exit the bar. Parents are said to be frantically looking for their children as no victims have been identified yet.
There were six off-duty police officers in the bar at the time who were unarmed.
Capt. Garo Kuredjian of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office earlier told reporters that there were likely “hundreds” of people inside the Borderline Bar & Grill at the time of the shooting. Kuredjian said sheriff’s deputies were “still hearing shots” when they arrived on scene late Wednesday. “I heard something go off — obviously, the gunshots,” witness Erica Sigman told NPR’s Kirk Siegler. “And I realized that it was not music very very quickly. And I heard everyone scream, ‘Get down!’ I heard people start saying, ‘run.’ So I booked it to my car and with a group of people. … And hid behind my cars for a little bit. It stopped and then there was a second round that went off.”
In addition to shooting people, the gunman also threw smoke bombs around the bar, heightening the chaos that ensued. From The New York Times:
A witness interviewed by ABC7.com said that the violence started when the gunman walked up to the entrance to the bar, shot a security guard and a cashier, and deployed a smoke bomb.“I just started hearing these big pops,” said the witness, a man who was not identified. “The gunman was throwing smoke grenades.” Then, panic ensued as people tried to flee.“He just kept firing,” the witness said, adding that “people were trying to get out the window” to run away from the gunman, who was wearing a hat and a black jacket and had “a big handgun.”
Several people inside were said to also have survived the massacre in Las Vegas last year.
Nicholas Champion was inside the California bar during the mass shooting. He also survived the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and injured hundreds more: https://t.co/9swbbJ45P5 pic.twitter.com/HX80jFow4n
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) November 8, 2018
The Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean says the suspect is 28-year-old Ian Long. Dean says police were called to his house this past April for a disturbance and he was believed to have mental health issues. He was carrying a Glock 21 .45 caliber handgun that he purchased legally. It is meant to have 10 rounds and 1 in the chamber but had an extended magazine on it. He shot the security guard outside first, before entering and shooting other employees, then patrons. Long is a veteran who served in the marines. Dean says they have found no connection between Dean and the bar or people in the bar. The motive remains unknown, but the Sheriff says he doesn’t believe it was random.
"We believe he shot himself. We found him already deceased when the officers made entry," Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean says of California gunman https://t.co/tpWYS7pPSt pic.twitter.com/L9kQJElVDQ
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 8, 2018
This interview with this man about the Thousand Oaks shooting is incredibly, incredibly sad: "I should have stayed. … I'm 55. They're young. I should've stayed until he changed his clip. … I'm so sorry. … It still feels like I didn't do what I should've done." pic.twitter.com/5u1NY7eoCV
— Matt Moreno (@TheMattMoreno) November 8, 2018
13 dead in a bar shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Dozens more injured. Folks, these kinds of incidents don't happen in normal countries where there is some reasonable regulation of firearms, starting with universal background checks https://t.co/56JBaax7Os
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) November 8, 2018
Incredibly heartbroken thinking about what the people of Thousand Oaks are going through. Thankful for law enforcement for neutralizing the situation. I can’t even grasp the fact that 11 more innocent people are about to be buried.
— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) November 8, 2018
One of the victims was Ron Helus, a Sherrif’s Sergeant for Ventura County. According to the BBC:
Ventura Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, who later died in hospital, had tried to enter the active scene with a local highway patrolman when he was shot several times. The husband and father-of-one had been a policeman for 29 years and was due to retire next year. “It saddens us all and tears at our emotions. He died a hero. He went in to save lives, to save other people,” [Ventura County Sherriff Geoff Dean] said.
The Borderline Bar & Grill is located within a short drive of three major colleges, California Lutheran University, Pepperdine University, and California State University, Channel Islands. Wednesday nights are “College Country Nights” at the Borderline, a weekly event that attracts many college students in the area. CNN reports that students had gathered for the event between 9 p.m and 2 a.m local time:
Pepperdine University said some of its students were at the bar, and it’s working to identify them.”The University offers its deepest condolences and is praying for everyone involved in tonight’s tragic events.”
The University has determined that multiple Pepperdine students were on site at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks. At this time, the University is working to identify and provide support to those students. (1/2)
— Pepperdine University (@pepperdine) November 8, 2018
Pepperdine officials are working with authorities and will provide updates as more information is available. The University offers its deepest condolences and is praying for everyone involved in tonight’s tragic events. (2/2)
— Pepperdine University (@pepperdine) November 8, 2018
This is a breaking news story. We will update as we learn more.