Gunman dead after killing 12 in bar filled with college students

Carla Harmon
November 9, 2018

The dead included 11 people inside the bar and a veteran sheriff's sergeant who was the first officer inside the door, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.

The massacre in Thousand Oaks was the latest US shooting rampage and came less than two weeks after a man shot dead 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Captain Garo Kuredjian, Media Relations Officer for the Ventura County Police Department, told Breitbart News on the scene that there had been three officers from the Oxnard Police Department and three from the Los Angeles Police Department inside the Borderline, all off duty.

"When the officers went in and made re-entry, they found him already deceased", Dean said, according to ABC 6.

Authorities said he had no criminal record, but in April officers were called to his home, where deputies found him angry and acting irrationally. The deputies called in mental health specialists.

In August, two people were killed and almost a dozen others were injured when gunfire erupted during a Madden tournament at the Good Luck Have Fun Game Bar inside Chicago Pizza at the Jacksonville Landing. He died at a hospital after being shot numerous times. Eight of those victims were students, and the other two were teachers.

Police tell the Los Angeles Times that at least 30 shots were fired at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, which is about 40 miles west of Los Angeles.

Survivors described moments of panic and heroism.

"We have no idea what the motive was at this time", Dean said.

Adam Housley, a former Fox News correspondent, and Tamera Mowry-Housley, an actress known for the 1990s TV series "Sister Sister", said their niece was killed at the bar where she had gone line dancing with friends. She said everyone yelled "Get down!" and then it was silent for a few seconds.

Matt Wennerstrom said he pulled people behind a pool table, and he and friends shielded women with their bodies after hearing the shots.

Erika Sigman, 19, was another witness.

Other neighbours said they did not recognise the suspect's name, adding that his mother would wave as she drove by as they watered their lawn. We're told he also reached out to the military for help, but his mental health was in bad shape.

The tragedy left a community that is annually listed as one of the safest cities in America reeling.

Holden Harrah, a young man who saw the incident, cried as he told CNN that a place where he goes every week to have fun with friends had been a scene of carnage.

'She would see how many people loved her, ' Williams said, fighting back tears.

The bar was holding a college country nights event between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Wednesday night, its website states.

Despite his tender home life, Helus was also a dedicated "cop's cop" who never shied away from a tough assignment, spending much of his career on the SWAT team and working narcotics, Buschow said. "He went in to save other people".

Helus had been at the department for almost three decades, and was planning to retire within the next year, the sheriff said, choking back tears.

"It's a horrific scene in there", Dean said.

He had shot his way into the Borderline Bar and Grill, thrown a smoke bomb into the crowd and continued firing. Nearby California Lutheran University canceled classes on Thursday while Pepperdine University, about 20 miles away, planned a prayer service.

Other reports by iNewsToday