TWELVE people have been killed after a US Marine Corps veteran opened fire in a Southern California bar.
The 28-year-old gunman, who police have identified as Ian David Long, stormed the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousands Oaks late Wednesday armed with a .45-calibre Glock handgun.
According to local media, Wednesday was “College Country Night”, with college students and a local officer among the twelve killed.
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Ventura County Sergeant Ron Helus was one of the first responders to the scene, with authorities confirming he was “shot multiple times” after entering the bar.
The shooter is believed to have then turned the gun on himself.
“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters at a news conference.
“There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that.”
The father of one of the victims broke down in tears while confirming his son was one of the students shot dead.
“I talked to him last night before he headed out the door,” father Jason Coffman said.
“First thing I said was, ‘Please don’t drink and drive.’ Last thing I said was, ‘Son, I love you.'”
“I am speechless and heartbroken,” Coffman continued.
“I cannot believe that it’s happened to my family. I just want him to know that he is going to be missed.”
Heart-wrenching moment as father announces his son was killed in Thousand Oaks mass shooting. “Only him and I know, how I loved—how much I miss him…Oh, son, I love you so much.” https://t.co/H1XcH2w5PS pic.twitter.com/mAtfVmIIhy
— ABC News (@ABC) November 8, 2018
US President Donald Trump said he had been briefed on the “terrible shooting”.
“I have been fully briefed on the terrible shooting in California,” Trump tweeted.
“Law Enforcement and First Responders, together with the FBI, are on scene. 13 people, at this time, have been reported dead. Likewise, the shooter is dead, along with the first police officer to enter the bar…”
“Great bravery shown by police. California Highway Patrol was on scene within 3 minutes, with first officer to enter shot numerous times. That Sheriff’s Sergeant died in the hospital. God bless all of the victims and families of the victims. Thank you to Law Enforcement.”