12 killed in California bar shooting | News | DW | 08.11.2018
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12 killed in California bar shooting

Dressed all in black with his hood pulled up, a gunman walked into a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, California, and killed 12 people including a sheriff's deputy. The gunman was found dead at the scene.

Thirteen people are dead, including a sheriff's deputy, and at least 10 more are wounded after a shooting Wednesday night in a bar in Southern California.

The attacker used a handgun and smoke bombs at a country dance bar outside Los Angeles, sending hundreds of panicking people toward the exits, with some breaking windows to escape, authorities and witnesses said.

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said that sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the sheriff's department, responded to the scene and was shot after he entered the building. He died at a hospital early Thursday.

The gunman, identified as a 28-year-old Marine Corps veteran, was found dead inside the bar. Authorities believe he ultimately killed himself.

Read more: 8 facts about gun control in the US


"It's a horrific scene in there," Dean said early Thursday in the parking lot of the Borderline Bar & Grill. "There's blood everywhere." 

There was no immediate information on the wounded victims' conditions.

Crowded bar

There were hundreds of people inside the Borderline Bar & Grill when the attack occurred before midnight, and shots were still being fired when deputies arrived, authorities said.

Wednesday night was "College Night" at the bar and the place was packed with a young crowd.

US President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he has been "fully briefed on the terrible shooting." He praised law enforcement and the "great bravery shown by police" and said "God bless all of the victims and families of the victims." 

Ventura County Sheriff Dean said police did not know if the shooting was linked to international terrorism. 

"Nothing has led me to believe or the FBI there is a terrorism link here," he said. "We certainly will look at that option."

Several people from inside the bar told television reporters that a tall man with his face partly covered first shot at a person working the door, then opened fire, seemingly at random, at the people inside.

According to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, there have been 306 mass shootings in the United States in 2018.

av/cmk (AP, dpa, AFP)

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