California: A 28-year-old former Marine opened fire in a California country music bar packed with college students, killing 12 people including a police officer as dozens of terrified youngsters stampeded towards the door, authorities said Thursday.
The gunman who apparently killed himself stepped into the Borderline Bar and Grill around 11:20 pm Wednesday and coolly began shooting, witnesses said, unleashing pandemonium as terrified patrons scrambled to escape.
“He had perfect form,” bar patron Teylor Whittler told Fox News. “He looked like he knew what he was doing, he had practiced.”
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told a news conference the suspect had been identified as Ian David Long, a veteran of the US Marine Corps.
He was found dead at the bar in Thousand Oaks, California, an upscale city northwest of Los Angeles.
Dean said authorities so far had no indication of a motive, or of any connection to terrorism. He said the victims were apparently targeted at random.
“We believe he shot himself,” said Dean, who earlier described it as a “horrific scene.”
Dean said his department had “several contacts” with Long over the years, for minor incidents including a traffic collision, and in 2015 when he was beaten up at a local bar.
In April this year, deputies were called to his house for a disturbance and found him “acting a little irrationally.”
“They felt he might be suffering from PTSD, the fact he was a veteran and had been in the corps,” Dean said.
“They called out our crisis intervention team, our mental health specialists who met with him, talked to him, and cleared him.”