A hooded gunman dressed entirely in black opened fire on a crowd at a country dance bar holding a weekly “college night” in Southern California, killing 12 people and sending hundreds fleeing.
The gunman was later found dead at the scene.
Police have identified the shooter as Ian Long, ABC News reported. An official said that the man was 28 years old and used what appeared to be a .45 caliber handgun to carry out the mass shooting.
Officials have not revealed how the gunman died.
The dead from the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill on Wednesday, Nov. 7, included 11 people inside the bar and a sheriff’s sergeant who was the first officer inside the door, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.
“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Dean told a news conference in the parking lot of the Borderline Bar & Grill. “There’s blood everywhere.”
‘Great Bravery Shown by Police’
President Donald Trump said Thursday on Twitter that he has been “fully briefed on the terrible shooting.” He praised law enforcement, saying, “Great bravery shown by police” and “God bless all of the victims and families of the victims.”
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….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2018
The first victim of the shooting at the bar in Thousands Oaks has been identified as Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus.
Sgt. Helus and a passing highway patrolman were responding to several 911 calls when they arrived at the bar at about 11:20 p.m., the sheriff said. They heard gunfire and went inside.
“Sergeant Helus immediately made entry into the bar and confronted the shooter. Sergeant Helus was shot and severely wounded. Civilians and other deputies pulled Sergeant Helus from the bar,” the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
“Sergeant Helus was taken to a local hospital where he died from his wounds.”
Helus, who served with the office for 29 years, leaves behind a wife and son.
“He gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero,” Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters, briefly choking back tears, at a press conference. “He went in to save lives, to save people.”
A Handgun and Smoke Grenades
Hundreds of people were inside the bar when the shooting occurred. Law enforcement and emergency crews flooded the scene and police urged the public to avoid the area.
A witness told KABC-TV that he saw a security guard get shot, adding that the gunman appeared to use a handgun and smoke grenades.
“The gunman was throwing smoke grenades all over the place,” a different witness told KABC. “I saw him point to the back of the cash register … and he just kept firing. I ran out the front door.
“There was probably three or four [shots]. I hit the ground. I look up—the security guard is dead. Well, I don’t want to say he was dead, but he was shot. He was down.”
Witnesses told ABC News that a man fired several shots from a handgun before tossing smoke bombs and starting to fire again.
The massacre was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since 17 classmates and teachers were gunned down at a Parkland, Florida school nine months ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.