Marine Combat Veteran Kills 12 in California Bar Shooting

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Authorities haven't identified what motivated former marine Ian David Long to open fire during college night at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, around 40 miles (64 kilometres) from downtown Los Angeles.

Deputies found Long "was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally" and called in a mental health specialist, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.

Among those outside the hospital was Ellen Rivera, who said she had survived the October 2017 slaughter of 58 people at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas - the worst mass shooting in USA history.

According to the Pentagon, Long served in the Marine Corps from August 2008 to March 2013 and was a machine gunner.

The gunman first shot a security guard standing outside, then went in and opened fire on staff members and patrons, the sheriff said. Last thing I said was, "son, I love you".

"He would close the garage and be playing music and dancing in there, like sweating".

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Thousand Oaks, Calif. on Thursday to honor fallen Ventura County Sheriff's Sergeant Ron Helus, who was killed while responding to a mass shooting at a bar overnight.

"When (he) started to reload, that's when we got people out of there and I didn't look back", Wennerstrom said.

But when Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer entered the bar about 11:20 p.m., gunshots were already piercing the room. Dean said Long reportedly used a handgun in the attack.

"They felt he might be suffering from PTSD, the fact he was a veteran and had been in the corps", Dean said.

Helus was immediately hit with multiple gunshots, Dean said.

Dean told reporters Thursday, "I've learned it doesn't matter what community you're in...."

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

He said the motive of the shooting and the identity of the shooter were not known.

The incident in California came two weeks after a gunman killed 11 people and injured seven at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, while Shabbat morning services were being held.

"We were all bodies on top of each other and as soon as we saw him (the shooter) walk. into the other part of the bar, everyone bolted as fast as they could to get out", Tait said.

"Firefighters and first responders are arriving on scene of a report of a shooting at an establishment in @CityofTO. Fortunately it helped save a lot of lives that they fled the scene so rapidly", he said. My parents let me go here.

Von Molt said she and others from nearby California Lutheran University often gathered on Wednesday night to line dance to country music. "There was an exit right next to me, so I went through that".

A bomb squad was combing through the scene early Thursday morning after some witnesses reported that smoke bombs went off during the gunfire.

Buschow told CNN of his fallen colleague, "I don't think there's anything more heroic than what he did".

He said he had friends who were unaccounted for.

Helus was not only a 29-year sheriff veteran, but he was also a husband and father.

He said both they both managed to escape.

Around midday, the body of the slain sheriff's officer was taken by motorcade from the hospital to the coroner's office.