Law enforcement officials have identified the Borderline bar shooter as Ian David Long, a 28-year-old former marine who suffered from PTSD, and a documented history of mental issues.
On Wednesday night at around 11:30 p.m., the gunman, wearing all black, burst into Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, where a college student night was underway. He shot and killed the bouncer before opening fire on revelers inside, as well as setting off smoke bombs. He killed 12 people, including a sheriff’s sergeant, before turning the gun on himself.
The shooter was identified by his fingerprints as well as his tattoos, with police describing the suspect as “heavily tattooed.” The authorities did not provide details of his tattoos.
He was reportedly a resident of Newbury Park, less than a 10-minute drive from the Borderline Bar & Grill. According to the Los Angeles Times, he drove his mother’s car to the bar.
Police are currently searching the shooter’s home as well as speaking to his family and friends in a bid to establish a motive.
He served as a Marine Corps machine gunner
In a statement, Marine Corps extended their condolences to families of the victims, and confirmed that the shooter served in the Marine Corps from Aug. 2008 to March 2013, and his area of expertise was machine gunner.
He was deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and received 11 medals in total, including for good conduct and combat action.
A recent study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found that nearly 16 percent of veterans who deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom screened positive for PTSD.
He had documented mental health issues
Neighbors told ABC7 that he was a veteran who suffered from PTSD.
The Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said that the shooter was known to the authorities for minor offenses or complaints. In April, deputies responded to reports of a disturbance at his house. When they arrived, they found him “somewhat irate” and “acting a little irrationally.”
“They called out our crisis intervention team, our mental health specialists who met with him, talked to him and cleared him,” the sheriff told a press briefing on Thursday morning. “Didn’t feel he was qualified to be taken under 5150. And he was left at that scene last April.”
His gun was legal but the magazine wasn’t
Law enforcement officials say that the shooter used a .45 caliber handgun, which he owned legally. However, the gun was modified with an extended magazine, which could have held as many as 26 or more bullets, compared to a standard magazine which would have held 13-15 bullets.
Extended magazines, also called high-capacity magazines, are illegal in the state of California. Sheriff Dean didn’t say how big the magazine was in this instance.
California officials are vowing to take action on gun laws
In a statement, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, blasted Republicans for their inaction on the issue of gun violence.
"What we’re lacking is intestinal fortitude from congressional Republicans and President Trump to say enough is enough," Feinstein said. "As long as they stand in fear of the NRA and worry more about the power of the gun lobby than the lives of their fellow citizens, we’ll see more Thousand Oaks, more bodies lying at the foot of failed Republican leadership."
Rep. John Garamendi, a congressman for California’s 3rd District, also responded to the shooting. ‘Devastated to hear about the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks last night,” he wrote on Twitter. “I am more committed than ever to addressing the scourge of gun violence.”
“This is not normal,” wrote Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, Democratic congressman for California’s 11th District. “Repeated failure to act in the wake of these shootings has allowed more to take place. Congress must come together and take action to protect our communities and save lives.”
Parents are still looking for their children
As of 9 a.m. local time Thursday, law enforcement had not yet shared the identities of the 12 people who were killed, as they were still working on notifying family members, some of whom were gathered at the Thousand Oaks Teen Center nearby waiting for news.
In addition to the dead, multiple others were transported to hospital and treated for injuries. Sheriff Dean said that an additional 10 or 12 people who fled the scene during the shooting later took themselves to hospital to be treated for injuries.
Some parents, family members and friends were frantically still trying to get in touch with their kids, who they believed were at the bar on Wednesday evening. Jason Coffman told CBS2 that as of 6 a.m. Thursday morning he had not heard from his 22-year-old son Cody.
“I am in the dark right now,” Coffman said on CNN. “It’s actually tearing me up.”
When he tracked the phone, it pinged from inside the club.
“It’s not moving,” he said. “It’s there.”
Tamera Mowry-Housley, who starred in the TV comedy "Sister Sister," was looking for her niece Alaina. Alaina’s suitemates reportedly escaped the bar through a broken window and are being treated for injuries at the hospital. They told Mowry-Housley that they lost Alaina in the process.
Cover: Molly Esterline is hugged by David Crawford on scene after a shooter wounded seven Wednesday night on November 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, California. The gunman burst into the bar around 11:20 p.m., cloaked in all black as he threw smoke bombs and began shooting at targets as young as 18 inside the Borderline Bar & Grill, authorities and witnesses said. (Photo by Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)