Mass shooting at Thousand Oaks nightclub claim 13 lives, leaves dozens wounded

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MALIBU (CNS) – Authorities today identified the alleged gunman who
opened fire in the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks as university
students, including from Pepperdine, drank and danced in an attack that left 13
people dead — including the suspect and a Ventura County sheriff’s sergeant —
and around a score of others wounded.
In a news conference about 7 a.m., Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean
identified the alleged shooter as Ian David Long, 28, who lived in the area,
and he said Long was armed with a single Glock handgun that had an “extended
magazine” that would allow it to hold more than the standard number of 10
bullets.
Long, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, is believed to have killed himself,
Dean said, adding that a motive for the crime was not known.
Long, 28, had been visited by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office’s
mental health team, CBS2 reported. Neighbors told ABC7 Long was a veteran who
suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Pepperdine officials said several students from the university were in
the bar and they’re working to identify and provide those students support,
according to a statement from the Malibu-based university. It was unclear if
any of those killed or wounded were students at the school.
The university said it was in contact with appropriate governmental
agencies and would provide updates as information became available.
Classes at the school will take place as scheduled today, but students
were encouraged to adjust their schedules if they were affected by the
shooting, according to a statement from the school. A prayer service for the
campus community is scheduled for today at noon in Smothers Theatre.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, in a Tweet, said: “Our hearts break
for @CityofTO and @VENTURASHERIFF for last night’s tragedy. @LAFD sent 5
engineer companies and a battalion chief to help at the request of our
neighbors and we stand ready to help in any way you need. Wrapping our arms of
love around you.”
Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas, in a Tweet, said:
“Your @LAFD sends condolences to @VENTURASHERIFF & family & friends who lost
loved ones in last night’s tragedy. We stand ready to assist in any way
necessary.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, in a Tweet, said: “The
#LASD stands with all of #ThousandOaks in full support and mourning for all
those affected by this senseless shooting.  We grieve alongside the
@VENTURASHERIFF who lost a brave public servant in Sergeant Ron Helus.  He gave
his life to save others.”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department, in a Tweet, said: “Our
thoughts & prayers go out to all who have suffered a loss as a result of the
incident in Thousand Oaks. Sergeant Helus was killed in the line of duty
running into the #Borderline Bar to stop the shooter. Our condolences to
@VENTURASHERIFF as they mourn the loss of a hero.”
Ventura County officials established a Family Assistance Center at
1375 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks, and released an emergency hotline number
that people can call: (805) 465-6650.
The Ventura County sheriff’s department received multiple 911 calls
around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday of shots fired at the bar and arrived, along with
California Highway Patrol officers, three minutes later.
A sheriff’s sergeant and CHP officer made their way into the
establishment and the sergeant was shot multiple times and was pulled to safety
by the officer, according to Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean.
The sergeant was identified as Ron Helus, a 29-year-veteran of the
department who was looking to retire next year, said Dean, who called Helus a
friend and gym workout partner.
“Ron was a hard-working, dedicated sheriff’s sergeant,” Dean said.
“He died a hero because he went in to save other people.”
At 10 a.m. a procession of law enforcement and first responders will
escort Helus’ body from the Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks
to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office in Ventura, according to Capt.
Garo Kuredjian.
Authorities found the suspect down with a gunshot wound, but it was
unclear if he took his own life or was killed by law enforcement, Dean said. A
handgun was recovered at the scene.
At least 23 people were injured in the incident and have sought
treatment at various hospitals in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Most
suffered minor injuries, Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Brian McGrath
told CBS2.
Witnesses told stories of people inside the bar using chairs to break
windows and help others escape the shooting.
Crews from the Los Angeles city and county fire departments provided
support to Ventura County firefighters at the scene. County fire crews that
responded were later cleared and released, according to a county fire
dispatcher.

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