Thousand Oaks Shooting Kills 11 Bar Patrons, Police Sergeant
There has been another mass shooting in America.
Around 11:20 p.m. on Wednesday night, an unnamed assailant dressed entirely in black walked into the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California and opened fire with a handgun.
According to the latest information from Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean, 11 victims were found dead inside of the establishment, while a 12th victim has been identified as Ron Helus.
Helus was a Ventura sheriff’s sergeant who responded to 911 calls from the bar and who entered with the intention of stopping the shooter.
He was killed for his heroic effort.
Holden Harrah, a 21-year old who was was among the hundreds inside listening to music Wednesday night as a part of a college night event, spoke to The Los Angeles Times about what she witnessed.
She told the newspaper that the shooter walk in the front door wearing a black hat, glasses and a black shirt. He also had a beard, she said, adding:
“He just pulled out a gun and shot my friend that was working the front desk,” he said.
Harrah managed to run out a side door and made his way outside.
“I heard more gunshots behind me. I was freaking out,” he said.
Authorities have not yet released the name of the shooter, who was also found dead inside the bar.
However, a a law enforcement source told The Times that he was 29-year-old armed with a Glock .45 handgun and some knd of smoke device.
He is believed to be a resident of Newbury Park and he drove his mother’s car to the establishment.
Approximately 10 others were shot, but not killed, the Associated Press reports.
Dean told reporters in a press conference that the surviving victims inside the bar had “different levels of injury” and were transported to local hospitals.
“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Dean said. “There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that.”
He added that police think the suspect acted alone.
“It’s part of the horrors that are happening in our country and everywhere,” Dean also told reporters. “I think it’s impossible to put any logic or sense to the senseless,” he continued.
“This community in my 41 years had never experienced anything like this.”
Authorities report that the man was heavily tattooed, but apparently didn’t have identification on him.
His gun was purchased in Ventura County.
Helus died as a 29-year veteran of the department.
He was planning to retire next year and is survived by a son and his wife, whom he called before entering the bar, Dean said.
The attack was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since 17 students and teachers were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February.
This tragedy came less than two weeks after a man killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
The gunman has been identified as a 29-year old former U.S. Marine named Ian Long.
It is believed to have used a .45 caliber handgun with an “extended magazine,” authorities state, and that he shot himself.