Marine Vet Identified as Gunman Who Killed 12 at California Bar

At least eleven wounded in shooting at bar in southern California

On Wednesday night, in Thousand Oaks, California, as gunman Ian Long killed 12 people at the Borderline Bar and Grill, Orfanos was not so fortunate.

"It's a horrific scene", Sheriff Geoff Dean said yesterday.

Ventura County sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus died of gunshot wounds he suffered trying to stop gunman Ian David Long, who authorities say opened fire in a packed country music bar, killing 12 before police believe he turned the gun on himself Wednesday night.

According to the Pentagon, Long served in the Marine Corps from August 2008 to March 2013 and was a machine gunner.

- Long first shot a security guard outside the bar, went inside and then shot more security personnel and employees before opening fire on patrons. "Oh, son, I love you so much".

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.

"When (he) started to reload, that's when we got people out of there and I didn't look back", Wennerstron said.

Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department and an officer from the California Highway Patrol were the first to arrive on the scene just before 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Dean said Long reportedly used a handgun in the attack.

"I was concerned because I knew he had been in the military", he said. "I would open the garage and would be like, 'What are you doing?'"

The sheriff said a mental health crisis team was called at that time and concluded that Long did not need to be taken into custody.

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

By the time they entered the bar again, the gunfire had stopped, according to the sheriff.

Federal Bureau of Investigation and local officers at the scene, following the shooting which left 13 people dead. It also came less than two weeks after a gunman massacred 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Other neighbours said they did not recognise the suspect's name, adding that his mother would wave as she drove by as they watered their lawn. Helus died at a hospital.

Kayla Simmons said she was inside the bar when shots were fired directly behind her. Bullets continued as she managed to escape outside into the parking lot.

The officer was on the phone to his wife when the emergency call came in, telling her: "Hey I gotta go handle a call".

Police said hundreds were inside when the shooting occurred. "I can't imagine what they're going through right now".

Justin Meek, 23, had recently graduated from Thousand Oaks' California Lutheran University, school officials confirmed in a statement on Thursday.

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". "He didn't have to but he did it because it was in his blood", one person said.

He said he had friends who were unaccounted for. He said he thought their injuries were minor, and that majority were likely injured as they escaped, some by breaking windows. That Sheriff's Sergeant died in the hospital.

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