A gunman killed at least 12 people at a bar in Southern California in the United States on Wednesday night local time. The gunman also died in the shooting, The Guardian quoted Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Eric Buschow as saying. At least 16 people were injured in the incident.
Sheriff Geoff Dean said the shooter was 28-year-old Ian David Long, a United States Marine Corps veteran, AP reported. Dean said Long was armed with a Glock 21 and a .45-calibre handgun that can fire up to 11 rounds. But Dean said the gun had an extended magazine that is illegal in the state.
The sheriff said his department had made a call to Long’s home in April, when deputies found him acting “irate and irrationally”. But a mental health crisis team determined that he need not be taken into custody. On another occasion, Long was involved in a traffic accident, the sheriff added. His motives for Thursday’s shooting are not yet known.
The spokesperson for the county sheriff’s office, Captain Garo Kuredjian, said a deputy of the sheriff was among those killed. Ron Helus responded to the incident and was shot when he entered the building. He died in a hospital. Kuredjian did not provide information on the extent of the victims’ injuries.
Kuredjian said the police received the first reports of shots being fired around 11.20 pm on Wednesday (12.50 pm Thursday Indian time) at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, which is about 64 km west of Los Angeles. Officers from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol said around 30 shots were fired. At least 200 people were present in the bar at the time of the incident.
Kuredjian said deputies heard gunshots when they arrived at the scene and that it was still an active shooter scene, according to Ventura County Star.
President Donald Trump said that he had been “fully briefed” on the shooting, and praised the “great bravery shown by police”.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has been dispatched to the scene, reported Los Angeles Times. “Thousand Oaks is a very safe community, this is something that thankfully is very unusual,” Kuredjian told CBS Los Angeles. “It doesn’t happen very frequently in our neighbourhood.”