In a shocking incident, a gunman opened fire overnight in a Southern California bar and country music venue. The Ventura County sheriff said the bar was crowded with more than 100 people, many of them college students. Authorities have identified the gunman, who killed 12 people, including a sheriff’s sergeant, as 28 year-old Ian David Long. The rampage took place at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Authorities don’t yet have a motive for the shooting.
“There was just young people, like young, 18, 19, 20, just having a great time,” said a step-father who was at the bar with his step-son. “And this maniac came in and started shooting at people for no reason at all.”
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said that Long was a former U.S. Marine who had minor encounters with law enforcement in recent years, including a traffic accident and an incident when Long was beaten at a bar. Dean said officers responded to a disturbance call at Long’s home in April and Long “was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally.” Mental health personnel spoke with Long, Dean said, but they did not feel he qualified for detention under a state law.
Dean said officials suspected he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder because of his military background.Dean said law enforcement authorities have not uncovered a motive for the Wednesday attack on the Borderline Bar & Grill in the city of Thousand Oaks but the gunman “obviously had some sort of issues.” Long was found dead in the club, according to Dean. “We believe he shot himself. When the officers went in and made reentry, they found him already deceased,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter early Thursday he has been “fully briefed” on the shooting, applauded the response of law enforcers and extended blessings to the victims and their families. Trump, who has resisted efforts to pass more stringent gun control laws, also ordered American flags flown at half-staff in honor of the victims.