THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Ian David Long, 28, is believed to have been the gunman in Wednesday night’s shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.
Long is accused of bursting into the packed bar and opening fire on people dancing. At least 12 people were killed. Multiple people were hurt and taken to area hospitals.
Authorities found the gunman dead inside an office adjacent to the bar’s entryway, Dean said.
“We believe he shot himself,” said Dean.
The gunman used a Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun that was designed to hold 10 rounds plus one in the chamber, but the gun had an extended magazine, the sheriff said.
Long was a US Marine Corps veteran, Dean said.
“We have no idea what the motive was at this point,” said Dean.
The gunman was dressed in a black trench coat and wearing glasses when he walked into the bar filled with people enjoying a night of line dancing.
“I started hearing these big pops. Pop, pop, pop. There was probably three or four, I hit the ground,” John Hedge told CNN affiliate KABC.
Holden Harrah told CNN the gunman opened fire within seconds.
“This guy just came out of nowhere and came out with a gun and shot people in Thousand Oaks, California,” Harrah said. “And that’s what’s really blowing my mind, it’s a really safe area.”
Reports of the shooting came in around 11:20 p.m. PT.
“I heard a gunshot, I turned around and I saw him shoot a couple more times,” California Lutheran University student Teylor Whittler told KABC. “Within a split second, everybody yelled ‘get down,’ ” she said.
Witnesses said that people dropped to the floor and hid behind bar stools in stunned silence. Others jumped over chairs and broke windows to get out of the bar.
Dean says his department had several previous contacts with the former Marine including a call to his home in April, when deputies found him acting irate and irrationally.
The sheriff says a mental health crisis team was called at that time and concluded that Long did not need to be taken into custody.
Dean says the other prior encounters were a traffic accident and an incident when he was the victim of a battery at a bar.