'Hero' police officer killed in California bar massacre

Sergio Conner
November 9, 2018

A college country music night was underway when the suspect apparently threw a smoke grenade into the crowd before opening fire with at least one weapon.

Police cars are seen outside a country music bar and dance hall in Thousand Oaks, west of Los Angeles, after a gunman barged into a large, crowded venue and opened fire late November 7, 2018, killing at least 11 people, USA police said.

"Nothing has led me to believe or the Federal Bureau of Investigation there is a terrorism link here".

Kelly said Borderline had become a safe haven for dozens of Vegas survivors: "It is our home".

According to the Pentagon, Long served in the Marine Corps from August 2008 to March 2013. He and his wife separated in June 2011, while he was deployed on a seven-month tour in Afghanistan.

"He had flawless form", bar patron Teylor Whittler told Fox News. "It looked like he knew what he was doing".

Before hearing of his son's death, Mr Coffman had been frantically driving to hospitals around Thousand Oaks in the U.S. state of California begging for information.

A sobbing girl at the scene said she and about 15 others used bars stools to break windows and get out.

"Obviously he had something going on in his head that would cause him to do something like this", Dean said.

Dean described the scene inside the bar as "like hell".

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When the gunman ran out of bullets and had to reload, Wennerstrom said he knew he had a moment to act. 'They broke the window'.

The police called in a team of mental health specialists who decided that Long did not qualify to be involuntarily detained for mental health evaluation under state law.

He said he appeared to have shot at random inside the club, using only a Glock.45-caliber handgun.

But when Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer entered the bar about 11:20 p.m., gunshots were already piercing the room.

Many people had minor injuries, including some that came from the attempt to flee, Dean said. "He gave his all and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero because he went in to save lives, to save other people", Dean added. "I love you. I'll talk to you later,"' Dean said.

The police officer was injured when he arrived at the scene with colleagues and "attempted to neutralize the threat", Ventura County Sheriff's Office Capt. Garo Kuredjian said. It's something I had been setting myself up for, and then after the event, it really went into overdrive. They found Long "somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally", Dean said.

"They found him", he told reporters.

"All of a sudden we heard the "bang, bang" of the gunshots and it just started going insane and people were pushing".

"We didn't take it seriously at first. because it sounded like firecrackers and everyone just dropped down to the floor".

While authorities have not named all 12 victims in the shooting, a father of one person who died identified his 22-year-old son as among those who were killed.

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