Thousand Oaks Shooter Stopped During Rampage To Post On Social Media
By Tom Gantert and Holly Matkin
Thousand Oaks, CA – The gunman who fatally shot 12 people inside a California bar had posted on social media during the attack.
Ian Long, 28, made two posts amid his shooting spree at the Borderline Bar and Grill on Wednesday, according to NBC News.
Police didn’t say which social media platform Long used, according to NBC.
TMZ reported that the suspect posted the same messages on Instagram and Facebook:
"It's too bad I won't get to see all the illogical and pathetic reasons people will put in my mouth as to why I did it. Fact is I had no reason to do it, and I just thought... f***it, life is boring so why not?"
"I hope people call me insane .. wouldn't that just be a big ball of irony? Yeah ... I'm insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is 'hopes and prayers' .. or 'keep you in my thoughts' ... every time ... and wonder why these keep happening ..."
Authorities told TMZ that Long had a gun in one hand and his phone in the other as he was posting messages on Instagram.
Police found Long’s social media messages several hours after the shooting, according to TMZ. Long is believed to have shot himself after his rampage.
While his social media posts indicate the motive may involve gun control, TMZ reported that Long’s killing spree may have been revenge motivated.
A former classmate of his told TMZ that Long was bullied in school and students made fun of his lazy eye. That student said Long knew many of the students who allegedly bullied him would be at that bar, according to TMZ.
Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Pollack released a statement on Thursday.
"Our hearts are with the victims and families affected by this horrendous act,” Pollack said, according to NBC. “We've removed the shooter's accounts from Facebook and Instagram and will remove any praise or support for the crime or the shooter as soon as we're aware."
At approximately 11:20 p.m. on Wednesday night, 28-year-old Ian David Long headed over to the Borderline Bar & Grill, where several hundred people were enjoying “college country night,” Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told NBC News.
Armed with a .45-caliber Glock handgun and dressed in black, the hooded gunman first shot the security guard outside.
He then walked into the bar, “turned to the right, shot several other security and employees and began opening fire inside the nightclub,” Sheriff Dean said.
According to witnesses, patrons inside the bar mostly fell silent and fled to various corners of the building, attempting to hide, CNN reported.
“He didn’t say anything, at least not that we could hear, witness Matthew Estron told NBC News. “Everyone was just trying to get out.”
Others tossed stools through windows and hoisted people out, saving dozens of lives, CNN reported.
Ventura County Sheriff's Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the force, was among the first law enforcement officers to respond to the scene, Sheriff Dean said told CBS News early Thursday morning.
Just before he went into the bar, the sergeant wrapped up a phone call with his wife.
“I gotta go,” he told her, according to the sheriff. “I love you. Call you later.”
“When he heard gunfire, he went in and that’s something [we] would expect from Ron,” he said, according to KCBS.
"He was willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of others," the sheriff noted, according to NBC News. "He ran into danger — he didn't walk."
He was shot multiple times after he entered the building, and was later pulled out of the line of fire by a California Highway Patrol trooper, CBS News reported.
The 54-year-old sergeant was rushed to a local hospital, where he died at approximately 2 a.m. on Thursday.
Additional officers, including FBI agents and a SWAT team, arrived at the scene a short while later and made their way into the bar, NBC News reported.
Bodies littered the floor, while survivors huddled in terror or tried desperately to escape.
“They found people hiding in restrooms, people hiding in attics," Sheriff Dean said.
Long was later found dead inside the bar with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, USA Today reported.
“When the officers made entry, the suspect was already deceased,” Sheriff Dean said during the press conference.
"It's a horrific scene in there," Sheriff Dean said. "There is blood everywhere.”
“This is, by far, the most horrific thing I’ve seen in my 41 years,” he told NBC News.
Some witnesses said Long detonated smoke bombs inside the bar before he opened fire, but police have not confirmed those accounts.
Investigators recovered Long’s weapon, which was equipped with an extended magazine that is illegal in the state of California, according to USA Today.
In the midst of the carnage and terror Long unleashed, heroic leaders and protectors emerged.
Borderline Bar & Grill bouncer and promoter Justin Meek, 23, was off duty on Wednesday night, so he went to the club with his friends to have a good time, KSWB reported.
When Long opened fire, Meek was among the first people to jump into action.
He broke windows to usher people out of the bar to safety, rescuing many before he was fatally shot by the gunman.
“Meek heroically saved lives in the incident,” a spokesperson for his alma mater, California State University, told KSWB. "Cal Lutheran wraps its arms around the Meek family and other families, and around every member of this community of caring."
Shooting survivor Matt Wennerstrom used a barstool to smash out a window, then helped dozens of people to escape, KABC reported.
“We probably pushed 30 or 35 people through that window,” Wennerstrom told the news outlet as he stood outside the bar in a bloody shirt.
"All I did was grab as many people as I could and pull them underneath the table until I heard a break in the shots, and then we got people out of there, as much as we could," he said.
Six unarmed, off-duty police officers had also been socializing at the bar when the gunfire broke out, NBC News reported.
"I’ve already spoken to a parent who said, 'They stood in front of my daughter,'" Sheriff Dean told the news outlet. "It was amazing."
Sheriff Dean said Long may have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and that he had a history of minor run-ins with officers in recent years, NBC News reported.
Barbara Olasov Rothbaum, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and director of the Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program at Emory University School of Medicine, told USA Today, "This is not PTSD. This is whatever else, what other pathology would cause someone to do this.”