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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — A hooded gunman dressed entirely in black opened fire on a crowd at a country dance bar holding a weekly “college night” in Southern California, killing 12 people and sending hundreds fleeing including some who used barstools to break windows and escape, authorities said Thursday. The gunman was later found dead at the scene.

The dead from the shooting Wednesday night also included 11 people inside the bar and a sheriff’s sergeant who was the first officer inside the door, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.

“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Dean told a news conference in the parking lot of the Borderline Bar & Grill. “There’s blood everywhere.”

The massacre was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since 17 classmates and teachers were gunned down at a Parkland, Florida school nine months ago. It also came less than two weeks after a gunman killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. That, it turn, closely followed the series of pipe bombs mailed to prominent Democrats, CNN and former officials critical of President Donald Trump.

The gunman at the country dance bar was tall and wearing all black with a hood over his head and his face partly covered, witnesses told TV stations at the scene. He first fired on a person working the door, then appeared to open fire at random at the people inside, they said.

Many more people had more minor injuries, including some that came from their attempt to flee, Dean said.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus and a passing highway patrolman were responding to several 911 calls when they arrived at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks at about 11:20 p.m., the sheriff said. They heard gunfire and went inside.

Helus was immediately hit with multiple gunshots, Dean said. The highway patrolman cleared the perimeter and pulled Helus out, and then waited as a SWAT team and scores more officers arrived. Helus died early Thursday at a hospital.

By the time they entered the bar again the gunfire had stopped. They found 12 people dead inside, including the gunman.

It’s not yet clear how the gunman died, and authorities do not yet know his name or have any idea of a motive, Dean said.

It was college night and country two-step lessons were being offered Wednesday at the Borderline, according to its website.

The bar, which includes a large dance hall with a stage and a pool room along with several smaller areas for eating and drinking, is a popular hangout for students from nearby California Lutheran University. It’s also close to several other universities including California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, Pepperdine University in Malibu and Moorpark College in Moorpark.

When the gunman entered, people screamed and fled to all corners of the bar, while a few people threw barstools through the windows and helped dozens to escape, witnesses said.

Tayler Whitler, 19, said she was on the dance floor with her friends nearby when she saw the gunman shooting and heard screams to “get down.”

“It was really, really, really shocking,” Whitler told KABC-TV as she stood with her father in the Borderline parking lot. “It looked like he knew what he was doing.”

Sarah Rose DeSon told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she saw the shooter draw his gun.

“I dropped to the floor,” she said. “A friend yelled ‘Everybody down!’ We were hiding behind tables trying to keep ourselves covered.”

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

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, who choked back tears several times as he talked about the sergeant who was also his longtime friend.

“Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff’s sergeant who was totally committed,” Dean said, “and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero because he went in to save lives.”

US Mass Shootings: Here Are The Faces Of Those Responsible
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20 thoughts on “13 Dead After California Bar Shooting

  1. What, this didn’t happen because of those brown ppl who came from the shithole nations? Another angry white man. Like prez Obama said. “they have all the power. Why are they still mad”? Good questions. I’ll draw my own conclusions. White privileged.

  2. It’s amazing how the racist, bigot inbreds try to make excuses for their angry white male counterparts rather than acknowledge them for what they really are – – America’s own terrorist. Yes, it was a .45 caliber weapon with Hi-cap magazines that are banned in CA…..sooooo, that means the angry white man obtained and possessed the magazines illegally. Imagine that, a white man doing something outside of the law. Well gooolllly, Goober!!

  3. Umm yeah because that angry white couple in San Bernardino that did the mass killing
    Or that angry homophobic white guy in Florida that shot up the club…OH!! Wait those were Muslims

  4. Phoenix Rising on said:

    Everyone knew it was a deranged angry WHITE guy, as per the usual suspects in these cases. Listening to the news conference earlier this morning, the police stated, “he thought it was a terrorist act, since that’s where the minds of people have been going in situations like this.” Offering up NO evidence, he chose to try to make it a terrorist act committed by someone/anyone, other than the usual suspect of the crazy, WHITE angry male. He wasn’t completely wrong about it being a terrorist act. It was. It was just our country’s homegrown terrorist and not from the Middle East, as he would have some believe.

  5. Tim Gravely on said:

    You already knew – The suspect behind America’s latest mass shooting has been identified as Ian David Long, who law enforcement officials have accused of killing at least 12 people inside the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. The gunman, identified by NBC News as a heavily-tattooed, 28-year-old white male, used a .45 caliber handgun and was found dead after storming the bar that’s commonly frequented by country music fans on Wednesday nights. – – idiots love to conflate and spout lies. Believe lying statistics or your lying eyes.

  6. Tim Gravely on said:

    Hate is at an all time high. By some of the ridiculous comments on this forum, ignorance isn’t far behind. Like Rev Al Sharpton is so fond of saying, “We can have different opinions, but not different facts.” When you stroke the flames, you get a fire. The house is blazing.

  7. Michael Middleton on said:

    It’s going to take a more strategic effort to rid America of this crazy madness. These mentally deranged folks need to be identified and reported by family, friends, medical professionals, law enforcement, social media and the public before they strike.

  8. Mrknowitall, I think should edit your screen handle to ‘Mrknownothingatall’. Check the historical events just within the past few years, or even further. Don Lemon gave you the naked fact and truth, now is time to listen and understand fact(or get yourself help)….but maybe you have that same evil, sick, twisted mindset is why its hard to accept….probably

  9. NO mrknowitall—Most MASS shootings HAVE BEEN COMMITTED BY CRAZY WHITE BOYS!!!!!!

    U STAY ASLEEP!!!!!— I AM VERY WOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. L, as long as there are angry white men, it won’t end. That group of citizens have the most privilege available to any person and they still are not happy. If that level of privilege does not satisfy them, nothing ever will. They are the greatest threat to society.

  11. Another so called “crazy” white guy with an assault riffle and a lot of ammo!!!!!!
    I wonder how it is so easy for MENTALLY ill folks to obtain GUNS in the first damn place!!!!!!!
    When will this MADNESS end???

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