Saturday, 17 November, 2018

California shooting: what we know about the gunman

No caption At least eleven wounded in shooting at bar in southern California
Steven Clarke | 09 November, 2018, 10:46

A gunman killed 12 people, including a police officer, when he opened fire in a country music bar packed with college students in California, officials and witnesses said Thursday. The gunman was later found dead at the scene.

"There is blood everywhere", Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters. She said everyone yelled "Get down!" and then it was silent for a few seconds. "It can happen anywhere".

"There's people that live a whole lifetime without seeing this, and then there's people that have seen it twice", he said.

The gunman was tall and wearing all black with a hood over his head and his face partly covered, witnesses told TV stations at the scene.

Dean said in the news conference that some people who tried to escape the chaos by breaking windows might have been injured.

On Thursday, authorities provided an update on the shooting. On Twitter, he praised police and other law enforcement for their "great bravery". Dean said Helus was the first to go in and was immediately hit with multiple gunshots. It's unclear whether the magazine was legally purchased.

Thousand Oaks, a leafy, sprawling suburb of 127,000 people, was named the third safest city in the United States for 2018 by the Niche research company.

People comfort each other after the shootings in Thousand Oaks, California, about 40 miles west of Los Angeles.

Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus and a passing highway patrolman were responding to several 911 calls when they arrived at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks at about 11:20 p.m., the sheriff said.

Ventura County Sheriff's Office Capt. Garo Kuredjian said late Wednesday that it was still "a very active scene".

The bar's website says its hosts "College Country Night" every Wednesday. Once safely outside, the uninjured hugged and awaited word about those still inside.

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The dead include a sheriff's deputy who rushed into the bar in response to the shooting.

'We probably pushed 30 or 35 people through that window, ' Wennerstrom, who visits the bar weekly, told KABC.

The mother of the 27-year-old man killed in the latest attack, Telemachus "Tel" Orfanos, said her son survived Vegas only to die inside Borderline, less than 10 minutes from his home in suburban Los Angeles.

Court records show Long was married as a 19-year-old in Honolulu in June 2009, and he and his wife separated in June 2011 while he was deployed to Afghanistan.

Police have not identified a motive. A crisis intervention specialist was called to his house and talked to him, but left without taking him into custody, Dean said.

Authorities are expected to release the names of the victims later Thursday as police provided updates on the investigation.

Dean said the shooter reportedly shot at employees and security before turning on the crowd.

Helus was on the phone with his wife Karen when he got the call that there was a shooting.

"Ron was a hardworking dedicated sheriff's sergeant", he added, his voice cracking with emotion.

The U.S. Marine Corps issued a statement extending "its deepest condolences to the families of the victims in this senseless tragedy".

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