BREAKING: Mass Shooting at California Bar, Twelve Fatalities Reported Including Police Officer
UPDATE: Local media are reporting that the suspect in this mass shooting is 29-year-old David Ian Long.
Police responded to a disturbance at his home this past April, but a crisis intervention team cleared him at the time. He purchased his Glock 21 handgun legally after this time, but used an extended magazine, which is banned in California.
Original post: Early reports are just coming in on a mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, a country and western dance bar about 40 miles west of the Los Angeles area.
Dozens are reportedly injured with at least twelve dead, including a police officer. The gunman is said to also be dead inside the bar.
A police spokesman just said that at least one police officer, Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran who was planning to retire next year, was killed while confronting the gunman.
The shooting began around 11:20 p.m. PDT, when a lone gunman shot a security guard at the entrance to the bar, and then fired as many as 30 shots into the crowd of patrons, possibly throwing smoke bombs. The gunman reportedly used a legally purchased .45 handgun.
The bar was reportedly having a "college night" event. The site is near Pepperdine University, which has issued a statement confirming that some of their students were at the bar.
A Ventura County Sheriff's Office spokesman said that the FBI is on the scene, but as of yet, there is no indication of any connection to terrorism.
The suspect is described by local media as wearing all black and a trenchcoat.
The Los Angeles Times reports fatalities at the scene:
A gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a Thousand Oaks bar packed with hundreds of people attending a popular event for college students, causing multiple fatalities.
The gunman burst into the bar around 11:20 p.m., cloaked in all black as he threw smoke bombs and began shooting at targets as young as 18 inside the Borderline Bar & Grill, authorities and witnesses said.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrived and got into a firefight with the suspect, which left one deputy seriously injured, according to Capt. Garo Kuredjian, a department spokesman.
Officials said there have been fatalities but could not say how many. At least 11 people were injured, but that number is expected to rise, Kuredjian said.
Investigators believe the suspect is dead inside the bar.
Witnesses reported a horrifying scene as gunfire echoed through the club and those inside ran for cover, in some cases breaking windows to get out of the building. Others hid in bathrooms and an attic.
ABC7 is posting a live feed from the scene.
Media are interviewing witnesses:
Former Fox News reporter Adam Housley is saying that his niece, a freshman at Pepperdine, was at the scene of the shooting, but has not yet been accounted for.
Predictably, media personalities are already trying to politicize this tragedy when the bodies haven't even been removed:
It bears mentioning that California already has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation.
This article has been edited and updated with new information as it became available.