Americans woke up to another mass shooting tragedy on Thursday morning, this time in Thousand Oaks, California at a popular college student spot, Borderline Bar & Grill, which was hosting its weekly 18-and-over College Country Night. According to witnesses who spoke with CNN, at around 11:20 p.m. a masked gunman wearing all black entered the bar and threw smoke bombs before firing a handgun, killing 11 patrons, as well as deputy Sergeant Ron Helus, who was the first to respond to the scene. Helus was a 29 veteran of the force who had planned to retire in the next year.
The identity of the gunman is allegedly 28-year-old David Ian Long, a military veteran who apparently drove his mother’s car to the scene. Long was among the dead, but it’s unclear whether or not he took his own life or if he was killed by police. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean described the scene at Borderline Bar & Grill as “horrific” in a press briefing:
“It’s a horrific scene in there, there is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that, and I didn’t want to get that close and disturb the scene and possibly disturb the investigation,” he said, adding that the motive is still unclear.
Dean said investigators had not found any type of assault rifle within the bar. “Right now as far as we know there was only one handgun, but that could certainly change as we do a more thorough search of the building.”
President Donald Trump tweeted about the tragedy Thursday morning, thanking law enforcement for their bravery.