California Gunman Identified as Marine, 13 People Dead
13 people are dead after a gunman entered a California bar Wednesday man, opening fire during “college night”. Police have identified the shooter as Ian David Long, 29, who they say was a US Marine who may have suffered from PTSD.
According to Geoff Dean, the Ventura County Sheriff who held a press conference about the shooting earky Thursday morning, Long used a 45 Calibre Glock 21 with an extended magazine. The Glock 21 is one of the most popular handguns in America.
Witnesses on the scene said the shooter entered Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, shot the guard at the door, threw several smoke bombs inside, and then continued firing, killing 13 and wounding several others. The shooter was found dead at the scene from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to the Sheriff, Long’s handgun was legally purchased, but the extended magazine found at the scene was illegal. “We don’t know if he reloaded his weapon,” Dean said.
Authorities said the motive for the attack Wednesday night was under investigation.
Patrons screamed in fear, shouted “Get down!” and used barstools to smash second-floor windows and jump to safety as gunfire erupted at the Borderline Bar & Grill, a popular hangout for college students near Pepperdine University. The dead includes 12 people inside the bar and a sheriff’s sergeant who was the first officer inside the door.
“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Dean said in the parking lot. “There’s blood everywhere.”
The shooting at the bar comes less than two weeks after a gunman killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
On Thursday morning, Trump took to Twitter to praise police for their “great bravery” in the California attack and said, “God bless all of the victims and families of the victims.”
Early reports of the shooting included a witness description of the shooter as a “middle eastern man with a beard”. Witnesses said the shooter was tall and wearing all black with a hood with his face partially covered.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus and a passing highway patrolman were responding to several 911 calls when they arrived at the Borderline at about 11:20 p.m., the sheriff said. Sgt. Helus was talking on his phone with his wife when the call came in, and told his wife he loved her and had a call to respond to. Helus arrived on-scene within three minutes and was joined by a California Highway Patrol officer.
They heard gunfire and went inside.
Helus was immediately hit with multiple gunshots, Dean said. The highway patrolman pulled Helus out, then waited as a SWAT team and scores more officers arrived. Helus died early Thursday at a hospital.
Helus was a 29-year veteran, with a wife and son, who planned to retire next year. Dean, choking back emotion, called Helus a hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice to save lives.
Sgt. Helus “ran into danger hoping he could save lives,” Dean said.
This is a developing story. Follow Big League Politics for updates.