Crowds Line Streets to Honor Officer Killed in California Bar Shooting

Sergio Conner
November 9, 2018

Authorities haven't identified what motivated Long to open fire during college night at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, around 40 miles (64 kilometres) from downtown Los Angeles.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that authorities have identified the gunman.

It also marks the deadliest mass shooting in the country since 17 people were killed earlier this year at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

Wednesday night's shooting came less than two weeks after a self-proclaimed anti-Semite was charged with killing 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

President Donald Trump ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at public buildings and other areas Thursday.

Dean said Long was known to officers through a minor traffic collision and was a victim of a battery incident at a different bar.

"There were people hiding in restrooms, people hiding in attics", Dean said.

Dean estimated 10 to 15 people, including one with a gunshot wound, had gone to hospitals.

Ventura County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran, was killed inside. Then Knapp heard gunfire and saw a young woman at the counter shot repeatedly. The highway patrol officer stepped back, pulled Helus from the line of fire and secured his post until more officers arrived. Helus died while being treated at an area hospital several hours after he was shot, Dean said. According to the Times, he called his wife before entering the bar. At least 12 people were killed.

Police said the gunman was found dead inside the bar on the outskirts of Los Angeles although it was not immediately clear if he was killed by officers or shot himself. Their ages range from 18 to 33 - a reflection of the crowd drawn to the "College Country Night" at the bar. Two-step lessons in country dancing were being offered Wednesday at the Borderline, according to its website.

Wennerstrom, a student at nearby California State University, Channel Islands, soon followed them to safety.

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A witness to the shootings, Taylor Von Molt, 21, who said she was a promotor at the bar, said the gunman wore a black mask with a bandana covering the bottom of his face, and a black hoodie.

Cole Knapp, a freshman at Moorpark, said he was inside the bar when the shooting began, but thought at first that it was "just someone with an M-80, just kind of playing a prank". Then he said he saw the gunman, wearing a small black head covering and black hoodie.

"He went in there to save people and paid the ultimate price", he said.

"No one's gotten back to me", he said on camera without giving his name.

He bolted toward an exit onto a smoking patio, filled with more people who hadn't heard the gunshots over the loud music "and I told them get over that fence and just run". "You know, I think it's going to be something that we're going to have to come together and move past".

"I've learned it doesn't matter what community you're in", Dean told reporters when asked if he was surprised this happened in Thousand Oaks.

"We do not know how many rounds were in the weapon", he said.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he had "been fully briefed on the bad shooting", the latest chapter in America's epidemic of gun violence that came just 10 days after a gunman killed 11 worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

He said he had friends who were unaccounted for.

"It was really, really really shocking", Whitler told KABC-TV as she stood with her father in the Borderline parking lot. "That was the last thing I said".

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