THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office in California says 12 people were shot and killed by a gunman inside the Borderline Bar and Grill late Wednesday night before the shooter took his own life.
Wednesday nights at the business are known country music and a large crowd of college students.
Federal authorities are assisting the Sheriff’s Office in the investigation. All of the victims have been identified and their families notified. Among the dead is Sgt. Ron Helus of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. He was among the first through the door during the law enforcement response.
His body was escorted from the scene under escort with people lining overpasses to honor him.
A father told reporters his 22-year-old son, Cody Coffman, is among the dead. He said he spoke to his son just before he went out for a night of entertainment, and the last thing he said was, “I love you.”
Investigators say the shooter, Ian David Long, was armed with a .45 caliber semiautomatic Glock pistol at the time of the shooting.
A fund is set up to help the families of those killed or wounded in shooting. 100% of the proceeds go to victims’ families. The Conejo Valley Victims Fund is being managed by the Ventura County Community Foundation. You’ll find details on how to make a secure donation here: https://vccf.org/.
The fund was started with a $100,000 donation from the locally based Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and $250,000 from the Amgen biotechnology company, according to the Associated Press.
The man believed to have carried out the killings has been identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long. The Associated Press reports Long enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2008. He served as a machine gunner during five years in the service which included a 7-month long tour in Afghanistan. Long was honorably discharged in 2013.
According to the AP, local deputies had responded to the home where Long loved with his mother earlier this year. He was found to be “was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally” when contacted. A specialist evaluated Long, but determined he did not meet the criteria for involuntary commitment for psychiatric observation.
Investigators have not released any information on a possible motive for the killings or if Long knew any of the victims.