Friday, 9 November 2018 11:06 WIB | GLOBAL |
Authorities have identified the gunman who killed 12 people late Wednesday during an attack at a southern California bar and dance club as 28 year-old Ian David Long.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters Long was a former U.S. Marine who had minor encounters with law enforcement in recent years, including a traffic accident and an incident when Long was beaten at a bar.
Dean said officers responded to a disturbance call at Long's home in April and Long "was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally." Mental health personnel spoke with Long, Dean said, but they did not feel he qualified for detention under a state law. Dean said officials suspected he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder because of his military background.Dean said law enforcement authorities have not uncovered a motive for the Wednesday attack on the Borderline Bar & Grill in the city of Thousand Oaks but the gunman "obviously had some sort of issues."
He said Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department, was immediately hit with numerous gunshots and later died after being taken to a hospital.
"I told his wife he died a hero," Dean said of Helus, who had a wife and a son and planned to retire next year.
Multiple people were injured in the attack as well, but Dean said the exact number was unclear because a number of them had taken themselves to hospitals for treatment.
"It's a horrific incident," Dean said. "It's part of the horrors that are happening in our country and everywhere, and I think it's impossible to put any logic or any sense to the senseless."
Eyewitnesses described a scene of chaos as shots rang out in the dance club and patrons scrambled to seek cover and escape. Witness John Hedge told ABC News he was near the front door when the shooting started.
U.S. President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter early Thursday he has been "fully briefed" on the shooting, applauded the response of law enforcers and extended blessings to the victims and their families.
The shooting was the deadliest mass shooting since 17 students and teachers were killed at a Parkland, Florida high school nine months ago. It comes just days after a gunman massacred 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The suspect in that case, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, has pleaded not guilty to federal charges. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Source : VOA