For the survivors of the Las Vegas music festival shooting, it was a horrific nightmare of that deadly day now replayed in a different setting. For others, the sight of the gunman calmly slaying patron after patron with a semi-automatic pistol was, tragically, the last thing they ever saw.
According to Fox News, witnesses say a man dress in black walked into southern California bar full of college students late Wednesday evening and started shooting people without saying a word. In the aftermath, at least 12 people, including a sheriff’s sergeant, were dead.
“It is a horrific scene in there. There is blood everywhere,” said Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean.
The post-election day shooting took place during “country night” at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The establishment is billed as "Ventura County's largest country dance hall and live music venue."
Patrons — many of them from Pepperdine University, California Lutheran University, and California State University Channel Islands — ran for their lives, breaking through windows or escaping into the bar’s attic.
Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus responded immediately to the shooting, along with a patrolman, but was shot several times. The patrolman dragged him to safety, but Helus died early Thursday morning.
The gunman was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was later identified as 29-year-old Ian David Long, NBC News reported. Some news outlets are reporting he was 28.
According to Heavy, Long is a former Marine who has suffered from mental health troubles. Neighbors had complained in the past that he would scream and pound his fists on the walls. He lived with his mom in nearby Newbury Park.
“We’ve had several contacts with Mr. Long over the years," said a spokesman for the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. "In April of this year, deputies were called to his house for a subject disturbing. They went to the house they talked to him. He was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally. They called out our crisis intervention team, our mental health specialists.”
The team talked to him, and "mental health experts cleared him that day."
Witnesses described the shooter as a white male dressed in black with his face partially covered. He used smoke grenades to create confusion and at least 30 rounds from a .45-caliber Glock 21 to gun down his victims, ABC News reported. He used an extended magazine — now illegal in California — to modify the legally purchased gun.
Witness Teylor Whittler, the daughter of a military veteran, said, “While I was inside I would say [I heard]…about a good 30 seconds [of gunshots]…he had two [magazines] that I know with him. He changed them within about six seconds, which was really fast. As soon as he walked in he had perfect form…he looked like he knew what he was doing. He had practiced, he had been shooting [before].”
Some survivors of the Route 91 music festival shooting, which killed almost 60 people and injured over 800, were at the popular bar.
"A lot of people in the Route 91 situation go here. There's people that live a whole lifetime without seeing this, and then there’s people that have seen it twice," said 23-year-old Chandler Gunn.
President Trump responded to the shooting, saying, “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. Great bravery shown by police. California Highway Patrol was on scene within 3 minutes, with first officer to enter shot numerous times. That Sheriff’s Sergeant died in the hospital. God bless all of the victims and families of the victims. Thank you to Law Enforcement.
Please pray for the survivors and the families who lost loved ones!