Police identify former Marine as gunman who killed 12 in California bar shooting

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A gunman, who has now been identified as 28-year-old veteran Ian David Long, killed 12 people, including a police officer, when he opened fire in a country music bar in California. (Screenshot: Social Media)
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Police officers interview people outside a country music bar and dance hall in Thousand Oaks, in the Los Angeles area where the shooting happened. (USA Today/AFP)
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People comfort each other as they sit near the scene of the shooting in Thousand Oaks. (AP)
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First responders are seen outside Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California in this still image taken from a social media video. (Reuters)
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Jacqui Irwin, a member of the California State Assembly, and Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Eric Buschow comfort each other during a news conference after a mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks. (Reuters)
Updated 09 November 2018
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Police identify former Marine as gunman who killed 12 in California bar shooting

  • It was the second mass shooting in America in less than two weeks
  • ‘We have no idea if there is a terrorism link to this or not’

THOUSAND OAKS, California: A gunman, who has now been identified as 28-year-old veteran Ian David Long, killed 12 people, including a police officer, when he opened fire in a country music bar packed with college students in California, officials and witnesses said Thursday.

Police said the gunman was found dead inside the bar on the outskirts of Los Angeles although it was not immediately clear if he was killed by officers or shot himself.

A gunman, who has now been identified as 28-year-old veteran Ian David Long, killed 12 people, including a police officer, when he opened fire in a country music bar in California. (Screenshot: Social Media)

Speaking at press conference in the wee hours of Thursday, a sheriff said that around a dozen other people had been injured. He said the motive of the shooting and the identity of the shooter were not known.

It was the second mass shooting in America in less than two weeks.

Witnesses said that the gunman, who was wearing a black trenchcoat, throw several smoke grenades inside the Borderline Bar and Grill before he started he shooting at around 11:20pm on Wednesday night.

“It’s a horrific scene in there. There is blood everywhere,” Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters.

“We have no idea if there is a terrorism link to this or not. As you know, these are ongoing investigations and that information will come out as soon as we are able to determine exactly who the suspect was and what motive he might have had for this horrific event.”

“Nothing has led me to believe or the FBI there is a terrorism link here. We certainly will look at that option.”

Dean said that the dead police officer, who was named as Ron Helus and had been on the force for 29 years, was among the first on the scene.

The dead police officer, who was named as Ron Helus and had been on the force for 29 years. (Supplied)

“They found 11 victims that had been killed,” said Dean of the first response unit before detailing that the death of Helus brought the toll to 12, not including the gunman.

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Here is a recap of some of the other most deadly shootings in the country in the past 10 years.

- On October 1, 2017 a heavily armed "lone wolf" gunman opens fire from a 32-floor hotel room on an open-air concert on the Las Vegas Strip. He kills 58 people before turning the gun on himself. Around 500 are wounded.

- A 29-year-old gunman opens fire inside a nightclub in the Florida city of Orlando on June 12, 2016 and kills 49 people. The shooter, who pledged allegiance to Daesh in a 911 call during the attack, is killed in a shootout when police storm the building.

- A 20-year-old man kills his mother in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012 before blasting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and shooting dead 20 six and seven-year-old children and six adults. He commits suicide.

- A gunman opens fire with an assault rifle during a Sunday morning church service in the rural Texan community of Sutherland Springs on November 5, 2017, killing 26 people and wounding 20. The gunman, aged 26, is found dead in his vehicle.

- A former student opens fire at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018, killing 15 people on the premises with two dying in hospital. A 19-year-old who had been expelled for disciplinary reasons is arrested.

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The venue in the quiet, upscale Thousand Oaks suburb had been hosting an event for college students, with possibly several hundred young people in attendance, Captain Garo Kuredjian of the Ventura County Sheriff’s office said earlier.

Matt Wennerstron, a 20-year-old college student and regular at the bar, said the shooter fired a short-barreled pistol that apparently had a 10-15 round magazine.

“It was just semi-automatic, as many shots as he could pull, and then when it started to reload that’s when we got people out of there and I didn’t look back.”

He said he and others smashed their way out of the bar onto a balcony and then jumped down to safety. “One bar stool and straight through a window,” he told reporters.

TV footage showed SWAT teams surrounding the bar, with distraught revelers milling around and using their cell phones as lights from police cars flashed.

Holden Harrah, a young man who saw the incident, cried as he told CNN that a place where he goes every week to have fun with friends had been a scene of carnage.

“A gentleman walked in the front door and shot the girl that was behind the counter. I don’t know if she is alive,” he said.

The Los Angeles Times quoted a law enforcement official as saying at least 30 shots had been fired.

An unnamed witness told the newspaper that someone ran into the bar around 11:30 p.m. and started shooting what looked to be a black pistol.

“He shot a lot, at least 30 times. I could still hear gunshots after everyone left,” the Times quoted the man as saying.

It was the latest chapter in America’s epidemic of gun violence.

Only 10 days ago a gunman killed 11 worshipers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

That shooting was politically sensitive: the suspect, Robert Bowers, who said he wanted to kill Jews, argued that a Jewish advocacy group had been aiding a Central American migrant caravan denounced repeatedly by President Donald Trump in the run-up to Tuesday’s midterm election.

Last year a country music festival called Route 91 in Las Vegas was the scene of the worst mass shooting in modern US history. A gunman shooting from the 32NG floor of a hotel and casino with high power weapons killed 58 people.

Carl Edgar, a 24-year-old regular at the Thousand Oaks club, said he was in the bar with about 20 friends and had not been able to reach some of them since the shooting. They may have turned their phones off, he said.

“A lot of my friends survived Route 91,” he told the Times. “If they survived that, they will survive this.”


UK Cabinet to meet after Britain, EU reach draft Brexit deal

Updated 13 November 2018
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UK Cabinet to meet after Britain, EU reach draft Brexit deal

LONDON: Negotiators from Britain and the European Union have struck a proposed divorce deal that will be presented to politicians on both sides for approval, officials in London and Brussels said Tuesday.
After a year and a half of stalled talks, false starts and setbacks, negotiators agreed on proposals to resolve the main outstanding issue: the Irish border.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said the Cabinet would hold a special meeting Wednesday to consider the proposal. Its support isn’t guaranteed: May is under pressure from pro-Brexit ministers not to make further concessions to the EU.
Ambassadors from the 27 other EU countries are also due to hold a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.
May told the Cabinet earlier Tuesday that “a small number” of issues remain to be resolved in divorce negotiations with the European Union, while her deputy, David Lidington, said the two sides are “almost within touching distance” of a Brexit deal.
Britain wants to seal a deal this fall, so that Parliament has time to vote on it before the UK leaves the bloc on March 29. The European Parliament also has to approve any agreement.
Negotiators have been meeting late into the night in Brussels in a bid to close the remaining gaps.
The main obstacle has long been how to ensure there are no customs posts or other checks along the border between the UK’s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland after Brexit.
Irish national broadcaster RTE said the draft agreement involves a common customs arrangement for the UK and the EU, to eliminate the need for border checks.
But May faces pressure from pro-Brexit Cabinet members not to agree to an arrangement that binds Britain to EU trade rules indefinitely.
May also faces growing opposition from pro-EU lawmakers, who say her proposed Brexit deal is worse than the status quo and the British public should get a new vote on whether to leave or to stay.
If there is no agreement soon, UK businesses will have to start implementing contingency plans for a “no-deal” Brexit — steps that could include cutting jobs, stockpiling goods and relocating production and services outside Britain.
Even with such measures in place, the British government says leaving the EU without a deal could cause major economic disruption, with gridlock at ports and disruption to supplies of foods, goods and medicines.
On Tuesday, the European Commission published a sheaf of notices outlining changes in a host of areas in the event of a no-deal Brexit. They point to major disruption for people and businesses: UK truckers’ licenses won’t be valid in the EU, British airlines will no longer enjoy traffic rights, and even British mineral water will cease to be recognized as such by the EU.
The EU said Tuesday it was proposing visa-free travel for UK citizens on short trips, even if there is no deal — but only if Britain reciprocates.
“We need to prepare for all options,” EU Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said. On a deal, he said: “We are not there yet.”
Meanwhile, official figures suggest Brexit is already having an impact on the British workforce.
The Office for National Statistics said the number of EU citizens working in the country — 2.25 million— was down 132,000 in the three months to September from the year before. That’s the largest annual fall since comparable records began in 1997.
Most of the fall is due to fewer workers from eight eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004.
Jonathan Portes, professor of economics at King’s College London, said the prospect of Brexit “has clearly made the UK a much less attractive place for Europeans to live and work.”