On the night of Wednesday, November 7th, a shooter entered a “College Country Night” at a packed bar in Thousand Oaks, California, killing 12 and wounding dozens of others.
The Borderline Bar & Grill was estimated to have hundreds of people inside at the time of the shooting, which was reported to have occurred at 11:20 PM local time. Police and first responders were called and arrived on the scene within two minutes. Sergeant Ron Helus, the first police officer to enter the bar in response to the call, was shot several times and killed by the shooter. Helus had been with the Thousand Oaks Police Department for nearly three decades. Another law enforcement officer, a Highway Patrol Officer, also engaged the shooter.
The shooter, who has been identified as 28 year old Ian David Long, threw smoke bombs as he entered the establishment, using a .45 caliber Glock to shoot a bouncer and another employee before taking aim at the crowd of many college students.
Further statements have identified the shooter as a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps, from 2008 to 2013. The police has had contact with Long before, as he was involved in a traffic collision, was the victim of battery at a local bar, and deputies had also been called to his house.
The bar’s occupants scattered, some trying to hide behind tables, others breaking windows or scaling walls to get away from the assailant. Other officers from the police department arrived on the scene more than 10 minutes after Helus, and found the shooter dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean.
Dean has told reporters that there is no known motive at this time, but a warrant has been secured to search Long’s house.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, this tragedy marks November’s 6th mass shooting in 7 days.