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A former Marine — armed with a Glock .45-caliber handgun with an illegal extended magazine — opened fire on a packed California country music bar Wednesday night, killing 12 people, including a veteran sheriff’s sergeant nearing retirement, officials said.

Authorities believe Ian David Long eventually turned the gun on himself, but not before the 28-year-old, dressed in all black, terrorized a crowd filled with college students at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif. His body was found in an office adjacent to the entrance of the bar.

Sheriff Geoff Dean, who is set to retire on Friday, said Long may have suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and was known to law enforcement officials due to several unspecified contacts stretching back multiple years.

“We’ve had several contacts with Mr. Long over the years, minor events such as a traffic collision. He was a victim of a battery in a bar in 2015,” Dean said, adding that the bar wasn’t the same establishment he had opened fire Wednesday night.

Dean said the last interaction between Long and authorities occurred in April, when police officers were called to Long’s house after reports of a disturbance. When they arrived, officers found Long “irate and acting irrationally,” leading to a crisis intervention team being summoned. The team, however, cleared Long and said they didn’t feel he was qualified to be taken into custody.

“Obviously he had something going on in his head that would cause him to do something like this. Obviously he had some sort of issue,” Dean said of Long. “…We have no idea what the motive [of Wednesday’s shooting] was at this point.”

Long opened fire inside Borderline about 11:20 p.m., during the bar’s “college country night” event, authorities said. Dean said it appears Long shot the unarmed security guard first, turned to the right to shoot other security and staff members before opening fire on the rest of the patrons. No one at the venue was armed with a gun.

About 100 to 150 people, including students from California Lutheran University, private Christian school Pepperdine University and California State University Channel Islands, were inside Borderline when Long tossed a smoke device into the crowd and then, amid the confusion, fired at least 30 shots.

Deputies and highway patrolmen arrived at the bar within minutes of receiving multiple 911 calls and began assessing the grim, gruesome situation, Sheriff Geoff Dean said during an earlier Thursday news conference.

“It is a horrific scene in there. There is blood everywhere,” Dean said. He later described it as “hell.”

Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, a veteran of 29 years, arrived first on the scene and immediately entered the bar with a patrolman after hearing gunfire. But as the two made their way inside, Helus was shot several times. The patrolman pulled the sergeant from the line of fire, and Helus was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead early Thursday.

“Ron was a hardworking dedicated sheriff sergeant,” Dean said while holding back tears. “He was totally committed. He gave his all. And tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero because he went in to save lives. To save other people.”

Witnesses inside the bar — which bills itself as “Ventura County’s largest country dance hall and live music venue” — told reporters how some patrons used chairs to break windows in a bid to escape the chaos while others scrambled between shots to hide in the establishment’s attic. Dean said people also hid in the attic, bathroom and under tables to escape the hail of bullets.

one other person suffered a “minor gunshot” wound, while 15 to 20 people were injured by jumpting through windows and diving under tables.

“We all just kind of froze for a split second and then everyone booked it and dove to the floor,” said Teylor Whittler, who was on the dance floor when the shooting started. “After the first round it was quiet for about five seconds, and then some guys who were next to me on the floor got up and started sprinting toward the back door and yelled at everyone, ‘Get up! Run! He’s coming!”

Whittler, a daughter of a military veteran, told “Fox & Friends” she was at the bar celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday when shots rang out. She said of the 11 people she was with, there are still five friends who she hasn’t heard from yet. She recalled getting trampled on and hit in the head with a barstool when patrons made a dash to the door. A man eventually pulled her up and helped her escape.

She described the gunman as wearing all black clothes, a black baseball cap and a ski mask-type item partially covering his face. Several other witnesses offered a similar description, telling reporters the tall gunman first shot at a bouncer working the bar’s door and then opened fire — seemingly at random — at those inside.

Whittler said the gunman “knew what he was doing.”

“While I was inside I would say [I heard]…about a good 30 seconds [of gunshots]…he had two [magazines] that I know with him. He changed them within about six seconds, which was really fast,” she said.

“As soon as he walked in he had perfect form…he looked like he knew what he was doing. He had practiced, he had been shooting [before],” she told “Fox & Friends.”

Aside from the college students filling the bar, survivors of the 2017 Las Vegas massacre — which occurred during a country music festival — were also in Borderline.

Chandler Gunn, 23, of Newberry Park, said a friend who works at the bar was also at Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, when a gunman fired a barrage of bullets from a hotel room perch, The Los Angeles Times reported.

“A lot of people in the Route 91 situation go here,” Gunn said. “There’s people that live a whole lifetime without seeing this, and then there’s people that have seen it twice.”

Josh Coaly, 27, had been to Borderline several times with his friends — including one who also survived the Vegas shooting, The Times reported. Coaly said the unidentified friend was in good condition.

Carl Edgar, 24, of Tarzana, told The Times he had about 20 friends inside the bar, which he also frequents.

“As far as I know, all of my friends are OK, safe,” he said. “There are a few people we can’t get a hold of, but in these situations, people usually turn off their phones to be safe so I’m not gonna get too worried. A lot of my friends survived Route 91. If they survived that, they’ll survive this.”

President Trump said he was briefed on the “terrible shooting” and offered his condolences to the 12 people who died.

“I have been fully briefed on the terrible shooting in California. Law Enforcement and First Responders, together with the FBI, are on scene. 13 people, at this time, have been reported dead. Likewise, the shooter is dead, along with the first police officer to enter the bar,” the president tweeted. “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.”

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34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. X

    November 8, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Again LEO’s fail to take preventative actions against an unstable individual when there is an abundance of issues.

    • Marie

      November 8, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      Right. Oh and perhaps the PD’s Pychic Medium was on vacation.

    • Oscar V Pearson

      November 8, 2018 at 6:56 pm

      Exactly.

    • ca

      November 8, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      that’s easy to say, do you know how many CRAZY people there are in the world now? i’ve encountered a two in the past couple of years.. they were young women driving cars who decided that i had cut them off. they were so outraged that they followed me… the first time i got cornered in a parking lot, the 20 something, with tattoos and piercings, got out of her car and came at me(i’m old enough to be her mother btw), i thought she surely had a gun, who follows someone for 10 minutes… you know what she wanted… for me to acknowledge that i cut her off… when i told her that i didn’t and wth was she doing following me… when i said i presumed that she surely had a gun, she was shocked and when i asked her how did she know that I didn’t have a gun, she looked shocked and appalled… i said, don’t ever do something like this again… i now carry wasp spray under my front seat…. it happened again in a shopping center parking lot when i pulled out and stopped to let people walk by… she followed me too and after winding my way up and down the parking lot to be certain that she actually was following (young blonde in her white mercedes station wagon probably w/kids)… i programed my gps to head to the nearest police station…. so, yes, there are a lot of YOUNG angry people out there ….. (sorry to burden you w/this long story.. but, i suspect it’s an epidemic)

      • Sharon Nye

        November 8, 2018 at 10:55 pm

        This is what libs do. And I am happy that you put in all the detail. I think that the one that you encountered last is mentally ill, yes, because she doesnt know Jesus Christ, In fact I believe that if these so called feminists and liberal men would know how much Jesus loves them and accept Him as their Savior, things would be 100 times better. I also believe that if you are not saved you do have some mental problems–its called SIN. Although Christins sin also, we try not to and when we do we repent and ask for Jesus forgiveness. May Christ have mercy on these people.

  2. Doophus

    November 8, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    And right away the PRESS says the shooter is: “a FORMER MARINE”. Thanks for the publicity on the 243d USMC birthday, YOU CLOWNS!!

  3. Edward Conley

    November 8, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Please!!! This puke is not a Marine.Don’t disrespect the rest of us that have served honorably. He was a Moslem convert like the traitor Bergdahl.

    • Carly

      November 9, 2018 at 10:20 pm

      Looks like he was in the picture… alot of the them have problems (with their minds, etc.. ) doesn’t mean anyone else is being dishonored, nobody is saying that.

  4. PT

    November 8, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    It’s just about impossible to get a ccw in CA. Too bad, many lives could have been saved.

    • Crystal Fenton

      November 8, 2018 at 6:04 pm

      Agreed! It’s not the guns killing people, it’s people killing people. Whether they can get a hold of a gun or not, if somebody really wants to kill somebody they will find a gun, or a way! But you watch, the Democrats will take this and run with it, screaming, “Gun control! Gun control! This is all Trump’s fault!

      • Lydia

        November 8, 2018 at 8:47 pm

        Well, we’ll see their push for gun control and raise them for a new supreme court justice (RBG fell _- again)…
        Who doesn’t love a great game of poker?

    • Donald

      November 8, 2018 at 10:34 pm

      California liberal democrats believe that we have no right to defend ourselves!!!

  5. sharon steiner

    November 8, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    I have family in thousand oaks ( have not heard from in years) I hope they are all safe.

  6. Gus Smith

    November 8, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Typical, the states with the most gun control have the most horrific mass murders. Why not? the gunman knows no one can shoot back.

  7. Michael Murray

    November 8, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    If … The Nation, stall had Mental Health Hospitals, which we – DO NOT ANYMORE – possibly this poor sick man would have been discovered, contained and held then helped. This DID NOT have to happen.

    This Nation must restore the Mental Health Hospital Communities and STOP the dumping of these mentally sick and needy Mental Health Citizens into the Nation’s Penial System.

    How many MORE people need to die?

    This is not a Democrat Problem, this is not a Republican Problem it is all of America’s Problem.

    These Mentally challenged people are discovered, fiddle with for a short time in Local holding centers, given drugs which temporarily make them seem FINE AND DANDY, then Bingo they get Out Of the Jail, into the street and then they shoot up someplace.

    It is imperative that Mental Health Help is restored.

    We could collect every gun in America, melt them down, and a sick minded soul would/ will find a way to express their illness with spewing out death on the innocent.

    The problem is not, guns, not the bullets, it in NO MENTAL HEALTH HELP.

    • Toni

      November 8, 2018 at 7:34 pm

      totally agree the Mental Health hospitals need to be re-opened. My Fraternal Grandparents worked in them for years in Iowa, California & Washington. Just think how many who are now living on the streets would be off the streets. This person could have been helped there at onee was Camarillo State Hospital. One of my Uncles who was in the Battle of the Bulge was a wonderful guy before he went overseas with the Army. He came home a different person & his siblings had to commit him. He could have done what this person did if they had not had the Mental Health hospitals. I’m sure there are things that can be said against them, but not nearly enough to keep from putting them back in operation.

  8. Fred

    November 8, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    What action would you have recommended? Their prior contacts with this clown were so minor as to be inconsequential. A traffic accident? Being a victim of a battery? What did happen was a bar full of potential victims who had no way to defend themselves. How is this Law Enforcement’s fault? They had one contact with him when he seemed to be disturbed, but he didn’t meet the criteria for for commitment under the Welfare and Institutions Code, and therefore was not taken in. So, again, what would you recommend? Does your obvious background in policing and mental health provide you with any ideas, or are you just whining?

  9. joseph wisniewski

    November 8, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Wait , What , CI team says nothing to see here , they must be NUTS , this guy had major problems

  10. Susan

    November 8, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Should not be long before HOGG the PIG starts snorting from the trough!!

    • Jay E. Hoover

      November 8, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      He was supposed to be there that night, but decided to stay home and binge-watch Mr. Rogers Neighborhood reruns. When the first reports of the shooting came on TV, he drove over to the bar and started doing interviews as if he’d been inside all along.

  11. Scott L

    November 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    My question is this: Why is it that Christian/conservatives seem to be targeted as it also happened in Las Vegas at a Country Western concert.

  12. jean

    November 8, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Wanna bet the dem terrorists are behind this to push their illegal gun control

  13. stephen hughes

    November 8, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Yeah. Come get MY guns…
    Take away MY ability to protect my family and friends…?

    I don’t THINK SO….

  14. MontanaTrace

    November 8, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    It’s time everyone starts taking responsible actions. If you see something, do something.

  15. Janie

    November 8, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Question Why was security not armed ? Why have security at all ? A policeman. With a gun could have prevented some of these deaths . Of course he should have been committed a long time ago

  16. Phillip Nagle

    November 8, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    I assume he’s been out of the Marines for several years. What I haven’t heard is what he has been doing since then (other than two police reports). What kind of work was he doing? What groups if any did he belong to? Was he married?

    • Linda

      November 8, 2018 at 11:38 pm

      This is all I could find on him so far. Long was married in 2009 in Honolulu, but separated in 2011 and dissolved the marriage in April 2013 in Ventura County, California. He and his then-wife said they had no children and owned no property.
      US Marine Corps from August 2008 to March 2013, according to Defense Department records.

  17. Toni

    November 8, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    I totally agree the Mental Health hospitals need to be re-opened. My Fraternal Grandparents worked in them for years in Iowa, California & Washington. Just think how many who are now living on the streets would be off the streets. This person could have been helped there at onee was Camarillo State Hospital. One of my Uncles who was in the Battle of the Bulge was a wonderful guy before he went overseas with the Army. He came home a different person & his siblings had to commit him. He could have done what this person did if they had not had the Mental Health hospitals. I’m sure there are things that can be said against them, but not nearly enough to keep from putting them back in operation.

  18. Brenda Torres

    November 8, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    POOR TORMENTED SOUL!!! When are we going to take care of our Vets and get them the Medical/Psychological help they and their families need…For Our Own Good!!!

    • Alice

      November 8, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      Sad part is the VA can help, but the vet many times refuses the psyche care. I know of a sad case like this. Vet almost beat his parents to death. Vet lives in his car in his parents’ driveway.

  19. Mitch D.

    November 8, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Seems like Route 91 survivors are being targeted. This isn’t the first time.There have been other instances. Someone is cleaning up the witnesses.

    Now, watch Step #2)- “Blame it on the NRA”…

    • Joy DB

      November 8, 2018 at 11:52 pm

      Would not be surprised! But this Marine knew how to use guns; and if he had this weapon before his mental problems became evident, then no gun law would have restrained him.

  20. Bobby

    November 9, 2018 at 1:51 am

    It’s good he killed himself, it saves us taxpayers from having to support his sorry ass. There’s a nice hot coal waiting for him to park his sorry ass on too. He didn’t have to kill 12 people, he could have just put the gun under his chin.

  21. Kirk Kelly

    November 13, 2018 at 3:45 am

    About 35 million mentally Ill vote democratic there is our focus!

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