Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Marine combat veteran kills 12 in California bar shooting

No caption At least eleven wounded in shooting at bar in southern California
Kenny Thornton | 09 November, 2018, 10:58

Twelve people were killed when a gunman opened fire on a crowd at a country dance bar holding a weekly "college night" Wednesday in Southern California, sending hundreds fleeing in terror including some who used barstools to break windows and escape, authorities said.

Gunfire was first reported about 11:20 p.m, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters.

When a gunman opened fire at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas a year ago, Telemachus Orfanos somehow survived.

Officers speculated Long, who had served in Afghanistan for seven months, was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Borderline Bar and Grill in California had become a safe haven for dozens of survivors of last year's massacre at a Las Vegas country music festival, a place where they gathered for line dancing and drinks.

"(He) said to her, 'Hey I got to go handle a call.

Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer, who hasn't been publicly named, were on scene within minutes, and were the first responders to courageous their way into the bar, darkened by a smoke bomb set off by Long.

Dean said he has no doubt Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer who also was the first to respond "saved lives by going in there and engaging with the suspect".

"He was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally", Dean said.

After a man fatally shot 11 worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue last month, U.S. President Donald Trump said their deaths could have been prevented if an armed guard had been stationed inside the temple.

"Oh, Cody, I love you, son", Coffman sobbed. A crisis intervention specialist was called to his house and talked to him, but left without taking him into custody, Dean said.

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"I was actually about to leave when you start hearing pop, pop, pop".

One of the victims, Ventura County Sgt. Ron Helus, was fatally shot when he entered the bar and tried to stop the rampaging gunman, Dean said.

Police say Long was dressed in black from head to toe. "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". Law enforcement and emergency crews were flooding the scene. "There is a lot of bad in this world, but there is also a lot of good and people will help", she said.

"At that point, I grabbed as many people around me as I could and grabbed them down under the pool table we were closest to until he ran out of bullets", Wennerstrom told reporters.

Sgt Helus died early yesterday at a hospital. "You're always overanalyzing people, trying to figure out if something were to go down, 'What would I do?'"

Justin Meek, 23, had recently graduated from Thousand Oaks' California Lutheran University, school officials confirmed in a statement on Thursday. That exit leads to a patio where people smoke.

He said he had friends who were unaccounted for.

Neighbours said Thursday they would hear loud, aggressive fights between the two. "He looked like he knew what he was doing".

The body of the slain sheriff's officer was taken by motorcade from the hospital to the coroner's office yesterday.

Helus was a 29-year veteran of the force with a wife and son and planned to retire in the coming year, said the sheriff, choking back tears.

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