The gunman armed with a handgun opened fire in a California country bar during “College Night” killing 12 including a police officer. The shooter is dead.
He is identified as 29-year-old Ian Long . Officials describe him as a heavily tattooed, white male armed with a legally purchased 45 caliber handgun with an extended magazine.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said deputies were previously called to Long’s home for a domestic disturbance, reporting that he was acting irate.
They learned Long was a Marine veteran, but it is not known if he suffered from PTSD. Dean says they still have no motive for the shooting.
Law enforcement in Thousand Oaks say the officer was killed while entering the Borderline Bar and Grill responding to 911 calls.
Listen to police dispatch calls here: 911
At least 12 people were shot and killed not including the gunman.
The Ventura County Sheriff, Geoff Dean, said there were “multiple other victims of different levels of injuries.” His voice cracking, he identified the slain sheriff’s deputy as Ron Helus.
Sgt. Ron Helus had been on the force for 29 years and was one of the first officers on the scene in response to 911 calls of shots fired.
He was looking to retire in the “next year or so,” and leaves behind a wife and son, Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters.
UPDATE: Ron Helus is the sheriff’s sergeant who was shot and killed in Thousand Oaks #California overnight as he tried to save people during a mass shooting in a bar. A 29 year veteran of the force, he leaves behind a wife and son. 12 people killed during the shooting. @WTNH pic.twitter.com/v4wSuEXTQd
— Brian Spyros (@BrianSpyros) November 8, 2018
He said that when officers arrived at the scene of the shooting, the suspect had already died.
There are multiple fatalities and authorities say at least a dozen others have been injured.
Reports indicate Long drove his mom’s car to the bar.
He was wearing a long black trench coat, glasses, beard and reportedly tossed smoke bombs into the main bar area, before firing off a 45 caliber Glock.
Dean said, “It’s a horrific scene in there. Like Hell, there’s blood everywhere.”
He said the gunman, wearing all black, had apparently shot himself. Long reportedly drove his mother’s car there and opened fire.
Shooter in Southern California mass shooting described as a white man in his late twenties who was wielding what appeared to be a legally-purchased, .45-caliber Glock handgun, law enforcement sources tell @ABC. https://t.co/hE0iRyPc0J pic.twitter.com/OpKRuDkuvF
— ABC News (@ABC) November 8, 2018
Dean added that the shooter’s motive wasn’t known and it wasn’t clear if it was a case of terrorism.
In addition to those who died, injured or wounded patrons were brought to hospitals or went to them on their own.
The sheriff added that Thousand Oaks “is considered one of the safest cities in the country.”
Sheriff Dean was retiring and today was supposed to be his last day as sheriff. He said his last day on the job “can’t be any worse.”
The shooting at the popular country and western venue came just over a year after 58 people were killed at a country music festival in Las Vegas when Stephen Paddock opened fire from a high-rise hotel room.