Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Gunman kills 12 at crowded country and western bar in California

Gunman kills 12 at crowded country and western bar in California

At least 12 people have been killed, including a police officer, at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, California.

The man who shot and killed 12 people in Thousand Oaks, California, was identified on Monday as Ian David Long.

He said that there are at least "six victims including one deputy" who are still inside the bar. It is believed he took his own life.

Dean said investigators had not found any type of assault rifle within the bar. "There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that".

"The fact that he was the first in the door doesn't surprise me at all", said Sergeant Eric Buschow. He says Helus was later declared dead at a hospital.

Two passersby who said they had friends who visited the bar frequently told NBC Los Angeles that they spoke to one man who had managed to escape the bar.

"He went in to save lives, to save other people", Dean said of Helus, his voice breaking. "And that's what's really blowing my mind, it's a really safe area".

CBS L.A. said Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were seen entering the bar.

Victims were forced to hide in bathrooms and attic crawlspaces as the shooting unfolded, while armed cops descended on the scene.

Dean said that the dead police officer, who was named as Ron Helus and had been on the force for 29 years, was among the first on the scene.

"The gunman burst through the front of the bar, shot up the front of the bar, and did his damage there", said Joe Curley, a reporter for the Venture County Star and the USA Today Network.

"(He) said to her, 'Hey I got to go handle a call. The Western-style bar hosts theme nights such as country, salsa and swing dancing.

Borderline, which bills itself as the "biggest dance floor in town", had been hosting an event called "College Country Night" when the shooting occurred.

An unnamed witness told the newspaper that someone ran into the bar around 11:30 pm and started shooting what looked to be a black pistol.

"Within a split second, everybody yelled 'get down, ' " she said.

Knapp said he tried to help other people in the bar take cover, then headed for the bar's patio and jumped over a fence to safety.

"It was just refreshing to see someone so gung-ho and wanting to do his job well", Mayorga said.

President Donald Trump, who has resisted a surge in calls for tougher gun controls since 17 students were shot dead at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida earlier this year, said on Twitter that he had been "fully briefed on the awful shooting in California".

"It was chaos, people jumping out of windows, hopping over gates and just trying to get out", he told the affiliate.

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