Gunman Kills At Least 12 People in “Horrific” Thousand Oaks Shooting

The venue had been hosting a “college country night.”

Mark J. Terrill/AP

At least 12 people, including a veteran sheriff’s sergeant, were killed late Wednesday when a gunman opened fire inside a Thousand Oaks, California, bar that had been hosting a “college country night.”

Police on Thursday identified the suspected shooter as 28-year-old Ian Long. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters they had had several contacts with Long, including a 2015 bar incident in which Long was the victim of battery. In April, officials came to his house in response to a disturbance report. “He was somewhat irate,” Dean told reporters. “Acting a little irrationally. They called out our crisis intervention team, our mental health specialists who met with him, talked to him and cleared him.” (For more on the related work of threat assessment, read our deep-dive.)

A motive is unknown at this time.

Long was found dead inside the Borderline Bar & Grill when law enforcement officials subsequently arrived at the scene west of Los Angeles. Authorities estimate “hundreds” of people, most of whom were likely students from nearby colleges, were inside the venue when the shooting occurred.

“It’s a horrific incident,” Dean said at an earlier press conference. “It’s part of the horrors that are happening in our country and everywhere and I think it’s impossible to put any logic or any sense to the senseless.”

While holding back tears, Dean described Sgt. Ron Helus, the 29-year veteran officer killed in the shooting, as a “hardworking, dedicated sheriff’s sergeant.”

“He was totally committed. 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.”

In a heartbreaking interview, one witness told ABC7 that he saw the gunman firing into the crowd. “He didn’t say anything, at all. He just started shooting. I should have stayed till he changed his clip, but I was worried about my boy.”

“They’re all young,” he continued. “I’m 56, I’ve lived a life. They’re all young. This shouldn’t have happened to them.”

The New York Times reported that some of the bar patrons in Wednesday’s shooting said they had survived the country music festival shooting in Las Vegas that killed 59 people last year.

This is a breaking news post. We will update as more information is confirmed.

THANK YOU.

We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.