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Mass shooting in third safest city in the country: timeline of a horrific tragedy in Thousand Oaks, CA

Mass shooting in third safest city in the country: timeline of a horrific tragedy in Thousand Oaks, CA

In yet another horrific mass shooting, now in California, 12 people were killed, including a sheriff sergeant who was the first responder on the scene.

And while we all woke up Thursday morning to learn about the horrific news, there’s still little known about the shooter, or the motive, so here’s our attempt to quickly comprise the timeline of the tragedy.

When and where did the shooting occur?

The shooting happened at Borderline Bar & Grill, a popular country bar and music venue located in Thousand Oaks, CA, about 40 miles northwest from Los Angeles, just before midnight on Wednesday, at 11:20 pm PST. Wednesday night the bar hosted College Country Night, also known as “biggest dance floor in town.” The bar was filled with college students and youth when the shooter entered the scene. There were over 100 people at the bar at the time of the shooting.

“There were just young people, like young, 18, 19, 20, just having a great time,” said a stepfather who was at the bar with his stepson. “And this maniac came in and started shooting at people for no reason at all.”

 Who was the shooter?

 Initial search allowed police to successfully identify the shooter who has been also killed on the scene, possibly with a self-inflicted wound. Living in a nearby Newberry Park, 28-year-old Ian David Long was a frequent visitor at the bar before the shooting. A couple of Long’s friends, who preferred to be unnamed, admitted that they frequently visited the bar together.

“I would make fun of him, because he would drag me there. Sometimes we’d go there to have a drink, sit and talk, listen to music,” said one of Long’s friends.

Former Marine, Long was on active duty between August 2008 and March 2013. He was a student at California State University, Northridge, majoring in athletic training from 2013 to 2016. According to the university representative Carmen Ramos Chander, he did not graduate.

In March 2017 Long shared his experience about serving in the military on one of the forums, ShadowSpear.

 “I was honorably discharged in 2013. I am graduating with a B.S. in Athletic Training in two months,” he wrote in the post. “I found out a little too late that just wasn’t the job for me. Maybe the ego got the better of me but it took only one time for a 19-year-old D-2 athlete to talk down to me and tell me how to do my job that I realized this wasn’t the career I wanted to head.”

Long lived with his mother just a few minutes away from the bar. The police were called to his house in April to deal with a ‘domestic-related incident,’ with no further details available as of yet. There were suspicions that Long was suffering of a PTSD, however, it was not addressed further by the authorities. According to a neighbor, Long’s mother “lived in fear” of what her son might do, because ‘he wouldn’t get help.’

How many were injured? 

Long shot the bouncer at the front door before entering the bar. Dressed in black and wearing glasses, he didn’t immediately catch anyone’s attention. Right after entering, he set off smoke bombs and started firing. According to the investigators, with this tactic, the shooter was presumably hoping to hit as many people as possible.

At the time of this writing, 12 people were reported dead, including the 29-year-old veteran on the force, sheriff sergeant Ron Helus, who was the first one to get in the bar following the reports of shots fired. According to the Ventura County sheriff, Geoff Dean, training of law enforcement on mass shootings has recently changed. According to the new guidelines, officers don’t wait for backup and are instructed to go inside as soon as they arrive at the scene and believe there’s an active threat inside. Sheriff Geoff Dean believes that by going in so early Helus managed to eliminate the threat, as otherwise there would be many more deaths. “Sergeant Helus died a hero,” said sheriff Dean.

What was the motive? 

The motive is still unclear as police continue to search Long’s residence in hopes to paint a framework of his mind and what might have been the motive.

“FBI will be working with local, state and federal law enforcement on the “painstaking process” of going through evidence, including the digital trail,” said FBI assistant director for the Los Angeles area, Paul Delacourt.

According to the FBI data, Thousand Oaks is the third safest city in the country.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.