Thousand Oaks shooting: 13, including officer, killed at Borderline Bar & Grill

Thousand Oaks shooting: 13, including officer, killed at Borderline Bar & Grill

12 dead in California bar shooting: Live updates

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Using a smoke bomb and a handgun, a hooded Marine combat veteran dressed all in black opened fire during college night at a country music bar in Southern California, killing 12 people and sending hundreds fleeing in terror before apparently taking his own life, authorities said Thursday.

The killer was identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a former machine gunner and veteran of the war in Afghanistan who was interviewed by police at his home last spring after an episode of agitated behavior that they were told might be post-traumatic stress disorder.

Screaming in fear, patrons rushed for the exits, dived under tables and used barstools to smash second-floor windows and jump to safety as gunfire reverberated through the Borderline Bar & Grill, a hangout popular with students from nearby California Lutheran University.

On Feb. 21, a video claiming that David Hogg was a “crisis actor” briefly became the No. 1 Trending video on YouTube. The video included an old clip of Hogg being interviewed by a Los Angeles CBS affiliate, and it was falsely used as evidence that Hogg did not attend Stoneman Douglas as a student but was an actor. YouTube pulled the video later that day, but not before it received over 200,000 views. A separate meme also claimed that Hogg had attended and graduated from a high school in southern California. And other right-wing writers even claimed that Hoggs media appearances were suspect because his father previously worked for the FBI. Hogg explicitly denied these conspiracy theories. 

“I dropped to the floor,” Sarah Rose DeSon told ABCs “Good Morning America.” A friend yelled, Everybody down! We were hiding behind tables trying to keep ourselves covered.”

The dead included 11 people inside the bar and a veteran sheriffs sergeant who was the first officer inside the door, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.

As the high school students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, have increasingly pushed for change around gun control — most recently in the March for Our Lives events around the country — theyve become the victims of attacks and conspiracy theories by those who wish to discredit them and their cause. Some of the most vocal figureheads of the movement, David Hogg, 17, and Emma Gonzalez, 18, have largely been the targets of these critiques. These five claims have been debunked as false, but it hasnt stopped them from widely circulating on social media.

The bloodshed was the latest in what seems to be a never-ending string of mass shootings that are happening with terrifying frequency across the United States.

An article by Sara Rumpf in RedState questioned whether Hogg was on campus during the shooting. Rumpf noted that Hoggs comments in a CBS documentary and his quotes from a Vox article contradicted each other and called into question whether he was actually on campus. Hogg was on campus during the shooting and then returned several hours later with a camera to interview students. Rumpf later recanted the original report and apologized, but conservative media host Erick Erickson had latched onto the original story and stood by his criticism calling Hogg “a bully.” 

All morning, people looking for missing friends and relatives arrived at a community center where authorities and counselors were informing the next-of-kin of those who died. Many walked past TV cameras with blank stares or tears in their eyes. In the parking lot, people comforted each other with hugs or a pat on the back.

Following his speech at the March for Our Lives rally, an image circulated juxtaposing David Hogg with his arm and fist outstretched with an image of Hitler giving the Nazi salute. “All in favor of gun control, raise your right arm,” the meme reads. Several on social media also drew the comparison, but video shows that Hogg extended his closed fist into the air rather than an open palm facing downward.  

Video: 12 Killed In Mass Shooting At Borderline Bar And Grill In Thousand Oaks, California | TIME

Jason Coffman received the news that his son Cody, 22, who was about to join the Army, was dead. Coffman broke down as he told reporters how his last words to his son as he went out that night were not to drink and drive and that he loved him.

“We are on a hamster wheel of insanity. Another day of grief. Another day of outrage,” Gad said in a tweet. “Another day of families unnecessarily learning their loved ones are dead. But, don’t worry, I remember from all of the other times we’ve done this… ‘guns aren’t the problem.”

“Sister Sister” actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband said their 18-year-old niece Alaina Housely, a student at nearby Pepperdine University, was also among those killed . So was Justin Meek, a 23-year-old recent graduate of Cal Lutheran, according to the university.

An animated GIF went viral showing Emma Gonzalez tearing up a copy of the U.S. Constitution. But the image, which was tweeted out by the Twitter feed “Gab” and later by actor Adam Baldwin, was doctored. The original image came from a video from a  Teen Vogue photoshoot in which Gonzalez tears up a firing range target. 

It was the nations deadliest such attack since 17 students and teachers were killed at a Parkland, Florida, high school nine months ago. It also came less than two weeks after a gunman massacred 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

This is what a hero looks like. My respect, gratitude and deep condolences to the family of Sgt. Ron Helus of the Ventura sheriffs dept. He was killed charging into a blaze of gunfire to save many young lives. He was set to retire in a few months after 29 years of service. May God bless him.

Democratic Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, in his first public appearance since winning office on Tuesday, lamented the violence that has come again to California.

“Its a gun culture,” he said. “You cant go to a bar or nightclub? You cant go to church or synagogue? Its insane is the only way to describe it. The normalization, thats the only way I can describe it. Its become normalized.”

My heart aches to learn about the horrific shooting in Thousand Oaks on college night. Praying for the injured and the families of those killed who, like so many others, have lost their loved ones to gun violence. Leaders in Congress must act — not some day, but now.

President Donald Trump praised police for their “great bravery” in the attack and ordered flags flown at half-staff in honor of the victims.

Long was armed with a Glock 21, a .45-caliber pistol designed to hold 10 rounds plus one in the chamber, according to the sheriff. But it had an extended magazine — one capable of holding more ammunition — that is illegal in California, Dean said.

Thousand Oaks is located 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains close to Malibu, where many members of the entertainment industry live. It is a quiet, residential community where violent crime is rare, according to CNN.

The killer also deployed a smoke device, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Authorities converged on Longs home in Newbury Park, about 5 miles from the Borderline bar, in a search for clues to what set him off.

Hollywood stars including Rob Lowe, Josh Gad and Lin-Manuel Miranda reacted Thursday morning to the deadly shooting in Thousand Oaks, California near Los Angeles that killed 12 people at the Borderline Bar & Grill.

“Theres no indication that he targeted the employees. We havent found any correlation,” the sheriff said. “Maybe there was a motive for this particular night, but we have no information leading to that at all.”

Several of the celebrities are calling for greater gun control and using the hashtag #GunControlNow in addition to Thursday’s trending topics “Thousand Oaks,” #BorderlineShooting and #MassShooting.

Long was in the Marines from 2008 to 2013, rose to the rank of corporal and served in Afghanistan in 2010-11 before he was honorably discharged, the military said. Court records show he married in 2009 and was divorced in 2013.

12 Confirmed Dead at Mass Shooting in California Bar Several hundred people were inside the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks, California, for a college country night. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean described the incident as a tragic, tragic situation. Officials say they have a tentative identification, but theyre not revealing the name yet. The gunman drove his mothers car to the scene and said nothing upon entering the bar, according to The Washington Post. Several sources said the gunman was a 29-year-old white male, who was heavily tattooed. The ID process has been slow because the gunman was not carrying any forms of identification. President Trump paid tribute to the officers and victims on Twitter. One of the twelve murdered victims was a 29-year police veteran. Helus, 54, arrived on the scene alongside his colleague within three minutes of reports of shots being fired at 11:20PM PT. When a SWAT team, FBI and other offices arrived, the shooter was found killed by a gunshot wound. Thousand Oaks was ranked the third-safest city in the United States in 2018.

Authorities said he had no criminal record, but in April officers were called to his home, where deputies found him angry and acting irrationally. The sheriff said officers were told he might have PTSD because of his military service. A mental health specialist met with him and didnt feel he needed to be hospitalized.

Police stand at attention as a motorcade carrying Ventura Country sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed in a shooting at Borderline Bar the night before, passes by outside the Los Robles Medical Center in Thousands Oaks, California on November 8, 2018. – The gunman who killed 12 people in a crowded California country music bar has been identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a former Marine, the local sheriff said Thursday. The suspect, who was armed with a .45-caliber handgun, was found deceased at the Borderline Bar and Grill, the scene of the shooting in the city of Thousand Oaks northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Tom Hanson, 70, who lives next door to Long and his mother, said Thursday that he called the police about six months ago when he heard “heavy-duty banging” and shouting coming from the Longs home.

People line an overpass to see a motorcade procession transports the body of Sheriffs Sergeant Ron Helus, the first victim named in the mass shooting at a country bar in Thousand Oaks, California, November 8, 2018 – The gunman who killed 12, including Helus, people in a crowded California country music bar has been identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a former Marine, the local sheriff said Thursday. The suspect, who was armed with a .45-caliber handgun, was found deceased at the Borderline Bar and Grill, the scene of the shooting in the city of Thousand Oaks northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Hanson said the sheriffs deputy who arrived took his information, but he never learned more about what happened and hadnt spoken to Long since then. He said he was “dumbfounded” by the bloodshed.

Jason Coffman displays a photo of his son Cody outside the Thousands Oaks Teene Center where he came hoping to find his son who was at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, on November 8, 2018. – Twelve people, including a police sergeant, were shot dead in a shooting at the bar close to Los Angeles, police said Thursday. All the victims were killed inside the bar in the suburb of Thousand Oaks late on November 7, including the officer who had been called to the scene, Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters. The gunman was also dead at the scene, Dean added.

The gunman first shot a security guard standing outside, then went in and opened fire on staff members and patrons, the sheriff said.

Sheriffs Sgt. Ron Helus and a passing highway patrolman arrived around 11:20 p.m. in response to several 911 calls, heard gunfire and went inside, the sheriff said. Helus was immediately shot, Dean said.

The highway patrolman pulled Helus out, then waited as a SWAT team and scores more officers arrived. Helus died at a hospital.

By the time officers entered the bar again, the gunfire had stopped, according to the sheriff. They found 12 people dead inside, including the gunman, who was discovered in an office and had apparently shot himself, the sheriff said.

Sheriff and FBI investigators huddled at the command post after a gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a Thousand Oaks bar packed with hundreds of people attending a popular event for college students, causing multiple fatalities on November 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, California. The gunman burst into the bar around 11:20 p.m., cloaked in all black as he threw smoke bombs and began shooting at targets as young as 18 inside the Borderline Bar & Grill, authorities and witnesses said.

“Theres no doubt that they saved lives by going in there and engaging with the suspect,” said Dean, who was set to retire on Friday. He praised the slain officer — a close friend — as a hero: “He went in there to save people and paid the ultimate price.”

Police work in the area after a gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a Thousand Oaks bar packed with hundreds of people attending a popular event for college students, causing multiple fatalities on November 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, California. The gunman burst into the bar around 11:20 p.m., cloaked in all black as he threw smoke bombs and began shooting at targets as young as 18 inside the Borderline Bar & Grill, authorities and witnesses said.

One other person was wounded by gunfire, and as many as 15 others suffered minor injuries from jumping out windows or diving under tables, authorities said.

Police work int he area after a gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a Thousand Oaks bar packed with hundreds of people attending a popular event for college students, causing multiple fatalities on November 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, California. The gunman burst into the bar around 11:20 p.m., cloaked in all black as he threw smoke bombs and began shooting at targets as young as 18 inside the Borderline Bar & Grill, authorities and witnesses said.

People at the bar fled from all exits, broke through windows and hid in the attic and bathrooms, the sheriff said. He said they seemed to know what to do.

Police work in the area after a gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a Thousand Oaks bar packed with hundreds of people attending a popular event for college students, causing multiple fatalities on November 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, California. The gunman burst into the bar around 11:20 p.m., cloaked in all black as he threw smoke bombs and began shooting at targets as young as 18 inside the Borderline Bar & Grill, authorities and witnesses said.

“Unfortunately our young people, people at nightclubs, have learned that this may happen, and they think about that. Fortunately it helped save a lot of lives that they fled the scene so rapidly,” he said.

Nellie Wong cries as Chyann Worrell holds her and Erika Sigman (R) were all inside when shooting started inside the Borderline Bar & Grill when a shooter wounded seven Wednesday night on November 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, California. The gunman burst into the bar around 11:20 p.m., cloaked in all black as he threw smoke bombs and began shooting at targets as young as 18 inside the Borderline Bar & Grill, authorities and witnesses said.

Shootings of any kind are extremely rare in Thousand Oaks, a city of about 130,000 people about 40 miles (64 kilometers) from Los Angeles, just across the county line.

The Borderline, which has a large dance hall along with several smaller areas for eating and drinking, was holding one of its regular “College Country Nights.”

Witnesses console each other near the Borderline Bar & Grill after a shooter wounded seven Wednesday night on November 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, California. The gunman burst into the bar around 11:20 p.m., cloaked in all black as he threw smoke bombs and began shooting at targets as young as 18 inside the Borderline Bar & Grill, authorities and witnesses said.

Nick Steinwender, Cal Lutheran student body president, told KTLA-TV he immediately started receiving messages about the shooting, and he and his roommate went to the scene to offer rides back to campus or moral support.

Witnesses console each other near the Borderline Bar & Grill after a shooter wounded seven Wednesday night on November 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, California. The gunman burst into the bar around 11:20 p.m., cloaked in all black as he threw smoke bombs and began shooting at targets as young as 18 inside the Borderline Bar & Grill, authorities and witnesses said.

“Its going to be a very somber day,” Steinwender said. “I know we dont have all the details in yet, but you know, it just feels like its an attack on our community. You know, I think its going to be something that were going to have to come together and move past.”

Witnesses console each other near the Borderline Bar & Grill after a shooter wounded seven Wednesday night on November 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, California. The gunman burst into the bar around 11:20 p.m., cloaked in all black as he threw smoke bombs and began shooting at targets as young as 18 inside the Borderline Bar & Grill, authorities and witnesses said.

The bar is also close to several other universities, including California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, Pepperdine in Malibu and Moorpark College in Moorpark.

Cole Knapp, a freshman at Moorpark, said he was inside the bar when the shooting began, but thought at first that it was “just someone with an M-80, just kind of playing a prank.” Then he said he saw the gunman, wearing a small black head covering and black hoodie.

“I tried to get as many people to cover as I could,” Knapp said. “There was an exit right next to me, so I went through that. That exit leads to a patio where people smoke. People out there didnt really know what was going on. Theres a fence right there so I said, Everyone get over the fence as quickly as you can, and I followed them over.”

Tayler Whitler, 19, said she was on the dance floor when she saw the gunman shooting and heard screams of “Get down!”

Around midday, the body of the slain sheriffs officer was taken by motorcade from the hospital to the coroners office. Thousands of people stood along the route or pulled over in their vehicles to watch the hearse pass. Firefighters use two ladder trucks to raise a giant American flag over the route.

Helus was a 29-year veteran of the force with a wife and son and planned to retire in the coming year, said the sheriff, choking back tears.

AP journalists Andrew Dalton, Amanda Lee Myers, John Antczak and Brian Melley in Los Angeles, Michelle A. Monroe in Phoenix and Michael Balsamo in Washington contributed to this report.


Posted in Thousand Oaks