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Officials: Motive unclear in shooting that killed 12 at Calif. bar

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By Krysta Fauria Related Press

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Utilizing a smoke bomb and a handgun, a hooded Marine fight veteran dressed all in black opened hearth throughout school night time at a rustic music bar in Southern California, killing 12 individuals and sending a whole lot fleeing in terror earlier than apparently taking his personal life, authorities stated Thursday.

Authorities stated the motive for the assault Wednesday night time was beneath investigation.

The killer was recognized as 28-year-old Ian David Lengthy, a former machine gunner and veteran of the conflict in Afghanistan who was interviewed by police at his house final spring after an episode of agitated conduct that they have been advised is perhaps post-traumatic stress dysfunction.

Screaming in worry, patrons rushed for the exits, dived beneath tables and used barstools to smash second-floor home windows and bounce to security as gunfire reverberated by means of the Borderline Bar & Grill, a hangout fashionable with college students from close by California Lutheran College.

“I dropped to the ground,” Sarah Rose DeSon informed ABC’s “Good Morning America.” ”A good friend yelled, ‘Everyone down!’ We have been hiding behind tables making an attempt to maintain ourselves coated.”

The lifeless included 11 individuals contained in the bar and a veteran sheriff’s sergeant who was the primary officer contained in the door, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean stated.

“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Dean stated within the parking zone. “There’s blood all over the place.”

Anxious relations gathered at a teen middle on the town to await phrase on the destiny of family members who had gone to the membership. Jason Coffman acquired affirmation that his son Cody, 22, who was about to hitch the Military, was lifeless.

Coffman broke down as he advised reporters how his final phrases to his son as he went out Wednesday night time have been to not drink and drive and that he beloved him.

“Oh, Cody, I really like you, son,” Coffman sobbed.

The bloodshed was the newest in what appears to be a endless string of mass shootings which are occurring with terrifying frequency throughout the USA.

It was the nation’s deadliest such assault since 17 college students and academics have been killed at a Parkland, Florida, highschool 9 months in the past. It additionally got here lower than two weeks after a gunman massacred 11 individuals at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Democratic Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, in his first public look since profitable workplace on Tuesday, lamented the violence that has come once more to California.

“It’s a gun tradition. It’s a tradition, and it’s not about being Democrat or Republican,” he stated. “You’ll be able to’t go to a bar or nightclub? You possibly can’t go to church or synagogue? It’s insane is the one solution to describe it. The normalization, that’s the one approach I can describe it. It’s turn out to be normalized.”

President Donald Trump praised police for his or her “nice bravery” within the assault and ordered flags flown at half-staff in honor of the victims.

Lengthy was armed with a Glock 21, a .45-caliber pistol designed to carry 10 rounds plus one within the chamber, based on the sheriff. However it had an prolonged journal — one able to holding extra ammunition — that’s unlawful in California, Dean stated.

The killer additionally deployed a smoke system, a regulation enforcement official informed The Related Press. The official was not approved to debate the investigation publicly and spoke on situation of anonymity.

Authorities converged on Lengthy’s house in Newbury Park, about 5 miles from the Borderline bar, in a seek for clues to what set him off.

“There’s no indication that he focused the workers. We haven’t discovered any correlation,” the sheriff stated. “Perhaps there was a motive for this specific night time, however we’ve no info resulting in that in any respect.”

Lengthy was within the Marines from 2008 to 2013, rose to the rank of corporal and served in Afghanistan in 2010-11, the army stated.

Authorities stated he had no felony document, however in April officers have been referred to as to his house, the place deputies discovered him indignant and appearing irrationally. The sheriff stated officers have been advised he may need PTSD due to his army service. A psychological well being specialist met with him and didn’t really feel he wanted to be hospitalized.

Tom Hanson, 70, who lives subsequent door to Lengthy and his mom, stated Thursday that he referred to as the police about six months in the past when he heard “heavy-duty banging” and shouting coming from the Longs’ residence.

“I used to be involved as a result of I knew he had been within the army,” he stated.

Hanson stated the sheriff’s deputy who arrived took his info, however he by no means discovered extra about what occurred and hadn’t spoken to Lengthy since then. He stated he was “dumbfounded” by the bloodshed.

The gunman was sporting all black with a hood, his face partly coated, witnesses informed TV stations. He first shot a safety guard standing outdoors, then went in and opened hearth on employees members and patrons, the sheriff stated.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus and a passing freeway patrolman arrived round 11:20 p.m. in response to a number of 911 calls, heard gunfire and went inside, the sheriff stated. Helus was instantly shot, Dean stated.

The freeway patrolman pulled Helus out, then waited as a SWAT group and scores extra officers arrived. Helus died at a hospital.

By the point officers entered the bar once more, the gunfire had stopped, in line with the sheriff. They discovered 12 individuals lifeless inside, together with the gunman, who was found in an ffice and had apparently shot himself, the sheriff stated.

“There’s little question that they saved lives by stepping into there and interesting with the suspect,” stated Dean, who was set to retire on Friday. He praised the slain officer — an in depth pal — as a hero: “He went in there to save lots of individuals and paid the last word worth.”

Along with the lifeless, one different individual was wounded by gunfire, and as many as 15 others suffered minor accidents from leaping out home windows or diving beneath tables, authorities stated.

Individuals on the bar fled from all exits, broke via home windows and hid within the attic and loos, the sheriff stated.

“Sadly our younger individuals, individuals at nightclubs, have discovered that this will occur, and they consider that. Thankfully it helped save numerous lives that they fled the scene so quickly,” he stated.

Shootings of any sort are extraordinarily uncommon in Thousand Oaks, a metropolis of about 130,000 individuals about 40 miles (64 kilometers) from Los Angeles, simply throughout the county line.

The Borderline, which incorporates a big dance corridor together with a number of smaller areas for consuming and consuming, was holding considered one of its common “School Nation Nights.”

Nick Steinwender, Cal Lutheran scholar physique president, advised KTLA-TV he instantly began receiving messages concerning the capturing, and he and his roommate went to the scene to supply rides again to campus or ethical help.

“It’s going to be a really somber day,” Steinwender stated. “I do know we don’t have all the small print in but, however you realize, it simply feels prefer it’s an assault on our group. You already know, I feel it’s going to be one thing that we’re going to have to return collectively and transfer previous.”

The bar can also be near a number of different universities, together with California State College Channel Islands in Camarillo, Pepperdine College in Malibu and Moorpark School in Moorpark.

Cole Knapp, a freshman at Moorpark, stated he was contained in the bar when the capturing started, however thought at first that it was “simply somebody with an M-80, simply type of enjoying a prank.” Then he stated he noticed the gunman, sporting a small black head masking and black hoodie.

“I attempted to get as many individuals to cowl as I might,” Knapp stated. “There was an exit proper subsequent to me, so I went by way of that. That exit results in a patio the place individuals smoke. Individuals on the market didn’t actually know what was happening. There’s a fence proper there so I stated, ‘Everybody recover from the fence as shortly as you possibly can,’ and I adopted them over.”

He stated a freeway patrol officer occurred to be pulling somebody over close by.

“I screamed to him, ‘There’s a shooter in there!’ He was sort of in disbelief, then noticed that I used to be critical,” Knapp stated. He stated he had buddies who have been unaccounted for.

Tayler Whitler, 19, stated she was on the dance flooring when she noticed the gunman capturing and heard screams of “Get down!”

“It seemed like he knew what he was doing,” Whitler informed KABC-TV.

Round noon, the physique of the slain sheriff’s officer was taken by motorcade from the hospital to the coroner’s workplace. Hundreds of individuals stood alongside the route or pulled over of their automobiles to observe the hearse move. Firefighters paid tribute through the use of two ladder vans to boost an enormous American flag over the route.

Helus was a 29-year veteran of the pressure with a spouse and son and deliberate to retire within the coming yr, stated the sheriff, choking again tears.

13 individuals are lifeless, together with the gunman and a police officer, after a capturing at a rustic dance bar in Thousand Oaks, California. pic.twitter.com/Ex5ppsK55v

— AJ+ (@ajplus) November eight, 2018

A sheriff’s deputy was one in every of no less than 12 individuals killed within the capturing at a Thousand Oaks, California, bar. Comply with stay updates: https://t.co/sLpdU2mXDv pic.twitter.com/mEGFJewqED

— CNN Breaking Information (@cnnbrk) November eight, 2018

Teylor Whittler describes what she witnessed at California bar capturing https://t.co/dMV68Hfdz0 pic.twitter.com/YznTZgQoYY

— Fox Information (@FoxNews) November eight, 2018

?11 individuals + the gunman are lifeless after a capturing in #ThousandOaks, CA. The victims embrace fallen deputy, Sgt. Ron Helus, who went in to SAVE individuals. “He died a hero… as a result of he went in to save lots of lives.” Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean.#Borderlinepic.twitter.com/1E9TRmO9W5

— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) November eight, 2018

“He died a hero”: Sheriff remembers fallen Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus within the Thousand Oaks capturing. https://t.co/rq3tYTFyuo #Borderline #Californiashooting #Massshooting pic.twitter.com/nMSQgrTGFI

— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) November eight, 2018

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