Gunman Identified In California Bar Shooting That Leaves 13 Dead
THOUSAND OAKS, California - Ventura County Sheriff identifies California bar shooting suspect as 28-year-old Ian David Long.
Thirteen people including a sheriff's deputy, Sgt Ron Helus and Long were killed in a shooting in a crowded bar late Wednesday night. Ian David Long was found dead inside.
The sheriff's office says Long deployed a smoke device and used a .45-caliber handgun when he opened fire inside the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, north of Los Angeles.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran about a year from retiring, died at the hospital.
His voice cracking, Dean described Helus as a friend. "I told his wife he died a hero -- he went in to save lives," Dean said. Helus is survived by a wife and son.
Dean said, "It's a horrific scene in there. There's blood everywhere."
He said the gunman had apparently shot himself.
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.
Ventura County Sheriff's deputies responded to the Borderline Bar and Grill, some 40 miles west of L.A., at about 11:20 p.m.
Sheriff's Capt. Garo Kuredjian said deputies could hear gunfire when they arrived.
Helus raced in and was shot numerous times, Dean said.
There were roughly 200 people in the bar for a popular weekly "College Country" night, authorities said.
The gunman threw smoke bombs when he entered, perhaps to cause confusion, CBS L.A. reported. But Dean said the bomb squad was called in and found no devices.
Witnesses told the station some people broke windows to get out or smashed windows so others could flee. Some terrified customers hid in bathrooms and attics, Dean said.
....Great bravery shown by police. California Highway Patrol was on scene within 3 minutes, with first officer to enter shot numerous times. That Sheriff’s Sergeant died in the hospital. God bless all of the victims and families of the victims. Thank you to Law Enforcement.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2018
The father of one patron told CBS L.A. his daughter told him the gunman "knew what he was doing" and came in "with a purpose."
A witness told the station, "There were people in the middle dancing and just hanging out and having a good time" when "very, very loud gunshots" rang out inside.
Numerous law enforcement agencies were on-scene, including the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. National Guard members were assisting, as well.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.