Thousand Oaks shooting
|Thousand Oaks shooting|
|Part of Gun violence in the United States|
Flowers outside Borderline Bar & Grill
|Location||Borderline Bar and Grill|
99 Rolling Oaks Drive
Thousand Oaks, California, United States
|Date||November 7, 2018 |
11:20 p.m. PST (UTC−8)
|Weapons||Glock 21 .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, knife|
|Deaths||13 (including the perpetrator); 1 by stray police gunfire|
|10+ (1 by gunfire)|
|Perpetrator||Ian David Long|
A mass shooting took place on November 7, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, California, United States, at the Borderline Bar and Grill, a country-western bar frequented by college students. Thirteen people were killed, including the perpetrator, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and a police officer who was shot multiple times, with the fatal wound accidentally being fired by another officer amidst the chaos. Ten to twelve others were injured.
At approximately 11:20 p.m., a gunman armed with a legally purchased .45-caliber Glock 21 semi-automatic pistol with a laser sight and seven banned high-capacity magazines shot a security guard standing outside the building. He then went inside and shot other guards and employees before moving to shoot patrons inside the bar, firing a total of approximately 60 rounds and throwing smoke bombs. Witnesses described the gunman as a heavily tattooed white male dressed entirely in black.
With more than 200 patrons inside, the bar was hosting a regularly scheduled College Country Night event and was popular among students in the area, especially those from Pepperdine University, California Lutheran University, California State University Channel Islands, and Moorpark College.
Three minutes after the first 9-1-1 calls, Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus and two California Highway Patrol officers arrived at the scene. Hearing gunshots coming from the building, Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer ran inside and immediately came under fire. In the ensuing gunfight, Helus was shot five times by the shooter who used a flashlight with a laser sight on his pistol in the large, darkened, smoke-filled room. Positioned between a Highway Patrol officer and the gunman, Helus was also accidentally struck by a bullet from the officer's rifle that went through his heart and fatally wounded him. Moments later responding Ventura County Sheriff's deputies, who were securing the perimeter, located and evacuated Helus to safety outside. A SWAT team and other police officers arrived on the scene shortly afterwards.
After officers entered the building, the gunman was found dead in the kitchen area from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Department of Homeland Security were deployed to further investigate the scene along with EMTs and paramedics from the Ventura County Fire Department and AMR to assist victims. During the shooting, Long made several posts on Instagram expressing his thoughts.
Nine men and three women died during the shooting. Seven were college students, and one other a recent graduate. The four others killed were 54-year-old Helus; a 48-year-old bouncer; a 33-year-old Marine Corps veteran; and a 27-year-old Navy veteran who was at the 2017 Las Vegas shooting during the Route 91 Harvest festival. They all died from multiple gunshots, and one victim was also stabbed in the neck. Ten to twelve others were injured, only one by gunfire.
Long served in the United States Marine Corps from August 2008 to March 2013, and had gone to Afghanistan from November 2010 to June 2011. After being discharged, he attended California State University, Northridge as an athletic training major from 2013 to 2016, but he did not graduate. While he was previously living with roommates in Reseda, Long was living with his mother at the time of the shooting. A cousin told the media that Long's father had died from cancer early in his life. His friends say that Long had been at the bar with them and some considered him a regular patron.
Police and a mental health crisis team visited Long in 2017 for his irate and irrational behavior, but they decided not to detain him at a psychiatric facility. A high school teacher raised claims that Long had physically assaulted her as a student but was encouraged not to push the incident so as to not endanger his future in the Marine Corps. In her statement, the teacher alleged that Long had issues long before his military service. Although he had served overseas in the military, behavioral scientist and clinical psychologist Lisa Jaycox said that it was premature to say whether Long suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder or if it was a factor in the shooting.
Many of the survivors had to evacuate, or assisted in the evacuation due to the Woolsey Fire in the aftermath of the shooting. The mother of the victim who survived the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, called for gun control legislation in media interviews. The only gun store in the town told reporters that there was an increase in individuals looking to purchase a weapon for protection on the day after the shooting.
On November 15, 2018, the funeral for Helus was held. Law enforcement officers, local and state leaders including California Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom, as well as local citizens attended his funeral. A vigil at Calvary Community Church in nearby Westlake Village, for two of their congregation, was attended by around 500 mourners.
Numerous national sports teams highlighted the victims and donated money to those affected by the shooting. Victims were provided with these donations immediately after the shooting. Each victim's family was provided with $20,000 for burial costs. After a third distribution in March 2019, a total of $3.6 million had been contributed by more than 25,000 people and through more than 200 fundraisers. The funds were distributed to the families of victims, those physically injured, and others present in the establishment. A local foundation received and distributed the funds in a cooperative effort without charging any administrative fees.
The Ventura county Board of Supervisors formed the Task Force on Mental Health & Safety in response to the shooting. Initially composed of key county officials, the ongoing task force looks for gaps in the systems that protect the public and that provide mental health care and makes recommendations on how to prevent and lessen the damage from mass shootings.
A memorial will be constructed in a community park.
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College Country Night! Learn to Dance w/Lessons at 9:30 & 10:30
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- Wilson, Kathleen (March 27, 2019). "Task force begins tackling ways to prevent mass shootings". Ventura County Star. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
- Harris, Mike (June 13, 2019). "Conejo Creek Park North selected as site for permanent Borderline Memorial". Ventura County Star. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
- Advisory by Ventura County Sheriff's Department for November 8, 2018 street closure for Procession of Sgt Ron Helus
- White House - Presidential Proclamation Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Thousand Oaks, California