Dead After California Shooting At Popular Nightspot, Police Say

Police sergeant one year from retirement among California shooting victims after 'going in to save lives'

Sheriff Geoff Dean said at a news conference Thursday morning that 28-year-old Ian David Long approached the building with a Glock 21.45-caliber handgun.

The police called in a team of mental health specialists who decided that Long did not qualify to be involuntarily detained for mental health evaluation under state law.

The carnage added Thousand Oaks to the seemingly endless list of American cities at which a mass shooting has occurred.

Screaming in fear, patrons rushed for the exits, dived under tables and used barstools to smash second-floor windows and jump to safety as gunfire reverberated through the Borderline Bar & Grill, a hangout popular with students from nearby California Lutheran University.

President Donald Trump ordered the USA flag at the White House and other government buildings to be flown at half-staff following the shooting, which came just 10 days after a gunman killed 11 worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

"It's a horrific scene in there".

Hanson described Long as an introvert who never caused him problems and that he was "dumbfounded" by the massacre.

Sgt. Ron Helus, among the first law enforcement officers to respond, died at a hospital hours later from injuries sustained in a confrontation with the shooter. California Highway Patrol was on scene within 3 minutes, with first officer to enter shot numerous times.

Kayla Simmons said she was inside the bar when shots were fired directly behind her. Bullets continued as she managed to escape outside into the parking lot.

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The sheriff said Long is believed to have killed himself after opening fire on the crowd.

"Great bravery shown by police". God bless all of the victims and families of the victims. "Pop, pop, pop. There was probably three or four, I hit the ground", John Hedge told CNN affiliate KABC.

"I was confused because we didn't have any balloons". My parents let me go here. The bar was hosting its weekly "College Country Night" when the incident was reported around 11.20 pm.

Mr Trump said on Twitter that he has been "fully briefed on the awful shooting".

"All of a sudden we heard the "bang, bang" of the gunshots and it just started going insane and people were pushing". "I saw the security guard was down and he had been shot". The gunman was throwing smoke grenades all over the place. He'd just warned him not to drink and drive. He said he thought their injuries were minor, and that majority were likely injured as they escaped, some by breaking windows. "We don't know if he reloaded his weapon or not, we're still interviewing witnesses".

In Las Vegas and Thousand Oaks, country music fans were the victims.

"Sergeant [Ron Helus] was on the force for 29 years, was looking to retire in the next year or so and has survived by his wife and son", Sheriff Dean said. "It doesn't matter how safe your community is". "This doesn't happen anywhere else on planet Earth".

None of the civilian victims were identified.

"Obviously he had something going on in his head that caused him to do something like this", he said.

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