Gunman dead after killing 12 in bar filled with college students

Howard TerryNov 10, 2018

Witnesses of the deadly California bar shooting in which 12 people died on Wednesday night have spoken out about their dramatic escape from the tragedy.

Thousand Oaks, ranked the third safest city in the United States in 2018 by website Niche, was added to the list of victims of gun violence in a country divided over its gun policies.

The killer, Ian David Long, 28, was a former machine gunner and Afghanistan war veteran who was interviewed by police at his home last spring after an episode of agitated behaviour that authorities were told might be post-traumatic stress disorder. He used a legally purchased.45 caliber handgun to carry out the attack and had modified its magazine so it could hold more rounds.

Julie Hanson, who lives next door to the ranch-style home that Long shared with his mother, described him as "odd" and "disrespectful" well before he left home a decade ago, got married and enlisted in the Marines. "I don't want prayers, I don't want thoughts, I want gun control and I hope to God nobody else sends me more prayers". His brother Aidan posted on Instagram, "Blake, I love you so much and I miss you more than you can imagine".

Dean also said police called their crisis intervention team to the home, and the mental health team, but they declined to take him to a psychiatric facility for involuntary commitment.

'It's the second time in about a year and a month that this has happened, ' Nick Champion told OnSceneTV.

Asked what the scene inside the bar was like, Dean said: "Like. hell". "There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that". He and other first responders "ran toward danger", Sheriff Geoff Dean said at a vigil Thursday evening, calling Helus a hero.

Long's high school track coach said he physically assaulted her his senior year, but she never filed charges.

Authorities in Thousand Oaks described an attack of military efficiency.

Long was seen by a mental health specialist in April who anxious the Marine veteran might have post-traumatic stress disorder. First thing I said was, "please don't drink and drive".

On Wednesday night, Long, a former Marine, stormed into the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks and unleashed a hail of bullets before turning the gun on himself.

Teece, who also has PTSD, told Xinhua that the government should spend more money setting up mental hospitals for veterans to address their psychological problems.

Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus was killed during the shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on November 7, 2018. But he declined to engage on questions on whether the nation needed stricter gun control laws.

To put the shooting in context, this was the 307th mass shooting of 2018, according to CBS News. It was uncomfortable timing for some in the genre, suddenly linked to the contentious issue of gun control - in a town where artists are encouraged to keep their political beliefs silent, so as not to alienate fans.

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