At least 12 people were killed, including a sheriff’s sergeant, late Wednesday night when a gunman clad in black opened fire during a “college country night” at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, police said.
Hundreds of people were inside the Borderline Bar & Grill. Shots rang out at around 11:20 p.m., Ventura County police said, when the shooting started.
Deputies and highway patrolmen arrived on the scene within minutes of getting multiple calls of shots fired, Sheriff Geoff Dean said in a late night press conference.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, a veteran of 29 years, and a patrolman entered the bar after hearing more gunshots. When they went through the front door, Helus was struck multiple times by gunfire. The patrolmen rescued the deputy from the line of gunfire and he was taken to a local hospital, where he died early Thursday.
“It is a horrific scene in there. There is blood everywhere,” Dean said.
Witnesses inside the club told local news outlets that patrons used chairs to break windows and hid in the club’s attic in between rounds of gunfire.
Several witnesses told TV stations that a tall man clad all in black with a hood and his face partly covered first shot at a bouncer working the door, then opened fire, seemingly at random, at the people inside.
“I knew it was live, knew it was real,” a 56-year-old witness told KABC-TV. “He [the gunman] didn’t say anything at all. He just started shooting.”
“I grabbed a chair and I broke it through the glass”: 19-year-old Mitchell Hunter describes how he escaped the Borderline Bar & Grill where a gunman opened fire in Thousand Oaks, CA pic.twitter.com/F605eg9iDK
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) November 8, 2018
A woman who was at the bar at the time of the shooting said the gunman “knew what he was doing.”
“While I was inside I would say [I heard]…about a good 30 seconds [of gunshots]…he had two rounds that I know with him. He changed them within about six seconds, which was really fast,” she recalled.
“So he knew what he was doing and he also had perfect form. When I looked back he was spot on,” she added.
Police told The Los Angeles Times that at least 30 shots were fired and the gunman used smoke bombs. It was unclear what type of weapon the shooter used.
Witnesses said many inside were college students from Pepperdine University, California State University …