THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Thirteen people are dead after 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.
The dead included 11 people inside the bar, the gunman and a sheriff’s sergeant who was the first officer inside the door, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.
“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Dean said at a news conference early Thursday in the parking lot of the Borderline Bar & Grill. “There’s blood everywhere.”
The gunman was tall and wearing all black with a hood over his head and his face partly covered, witnesses told TV stations at the scene. He first fired on a person working the door then appeared to open fire at random at the people inside, they said.
Many more people had more minor injuries, including some that came from the attempt to flee, Dean said.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus and a passing highway patrolman were responding to several 911 calls when they arrived at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks at about 11:20 p.m., the sheriff said. They heard gunfire and went inside.
Helus was immediately hit with multiple gunshots, Dean said. The highway patrolman cleared the perimeter and pulled Helus out, and waited as a SWAT team and scores more officers arrived.
By the time they entered the bar again the gunfire had stopped, and they found 12 people dead inside, including the gunman.
It’s not yet clear how the gunman died, and authorities do not yet know his name or have any idea of a motive, Dean said.
President Trump took to Twitter Thursday morning to offer his condolences to the victims and their families as well as praise law enforcement on the scene.
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Murders at a country dance bar last night
Krysta Fauria of the Associated Press brings us the story of the horrific murders in California last night.