13 dead, including gunman, after shooting at California bar during college night

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Once again, President Donald Trump has ordered flags at half-staff "in a mark of solemn respect".

The intervention at the crowded venue late on Wednesday night was the final act of a 29-year career in law enforcement for Sergeant Helus, who was due to retire next year.

Local reports suggested the attacker entered Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks and started shooting at around 11.20pm on Wednesday.

A "dedicated" police officer who was one year from retirement died in the California bar massacre while trying to stop the gunman, it emerged today.

Helus, who lived in neighboring Moorpark with his wife and son, died at about 2 a.m.at a hospital.

"We have no idea if there is a terrorism link or not", Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters.

Long served in the Marines from August 2008 until March 2013.

When deputies arrived at the scene, shots were still being fired, Ventura County Sheriff's Office Capt. Garo Kuredjian said at a news conference. They found Long "somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally", Dean said.

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Mowry-Housley's twin sister and former co-star, Tia Mowry , also sought information through social media posts early in the day. Long opened fire inside Borderline about 11:20 p.m., during the bar's "college country night" event, authorities said.

Long was "somewhat irate". The specialist didn't feel that Long qualified to be detained under 5150, the California law that allows for a 72-hour psychiatric evaluation if a person is deemed a danger to himself or others. Nine months ago, another mass shooting occurred in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and teachers were fatally shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

After almost three decades policing the area, the veteran was due to retire next year.

A friend, Sgt. Eric Buschow, said Helus took on some of the toughest assignments, was on the SWAT team for much of his career and worked in narcotics and investigations. "There's no way to describe this". "We go to the gym together, work out together.it's horrific and bad and it saddens our hearts".

Colleagues of a policeman who died after being among the first to respond to a mass shooting at a packed California bar have hailed him as a "hero". "He went in to save lives, to save other people", the sherriff said.

Cole Knapp, a freshman at Moorpark College, said he was inside the bar when the shooting began, but he thought at first that it was "just someone with an M-80, just kind of playing a prank". Dean said the suspect had an extended magazine on the weapon. Some men ran toward them and said the gunman was coming. They are still searching and investigating.

Twelve people, including Helus, were shot and killed in the incident, and numerous others were wounded.

"We have no idea if there is a terrorism link to this or not". The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was also there.