A former US Marine combat veteran opened fire in a bar and grill in Thousand Oaks, California on Wednesday night, killing 12 people in a mass shooting that is bound to revive the debate on gun control in America.
The gunman, identified by police as 28-year-old Ian David Long, was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound following the massacre, Reuters reports.
Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles FBI, was quoted as saying that it was too early to speculate on the gunman’s motives but that he appeared to have acted alone.
Long opened fire seemingly at random inside the Borderline Bar and Grill at about 11:30 pm PST on Wednesday, using a .45 caliber Glock handgun equipped with a high-capacity magazine, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.
Thousand Oaks lies 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
Long was in the Marine Corps from 2008 to 2013, reaching the rank of corporal and serving as a machine gunner in Afghanistan.
The sheriff said it was possible that Long had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Obviously he had something going on in his head that would cause him to do something like this,” Dean said.
The official said he had been told that 150 to 200 people were in the Borderline at the time. “It could have been much, much worse.”
The bar was hosting a university student country music night when the attack took place.
Dean estimated 10 to 15 people, including one with a gunshot wound, had gone to hospitals.
Long shot an unarmed security guard outside the bar before going inside, where he shot more security staff, CNN reported.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran with a wife and son, was shot and killed inside.
Following the news of the mass shooting, US President Donald Trump ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at public buildings and grounds.
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