THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. —
A mass taking pictures at a Thousand Oaks nightclub left 13 folks useless, together with a Ventura County sheriff’s sergeant and the gunman, authorities mentioned Thursday morning.
WATCH LIVE: Persevering with protection on Thousand Oaks mass taking pictures from our sister station ABC7
Ventura County sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Buschow, in addition to Sheriff Geoff Dean, mentioned they didn’t wish to rely the suspect among the many 12 victims.
In an emotional press convention, a Camarillo man confirmed his son, 22-year-old Cody Coffman, was one of many victims killed within the tragedy.
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“This was my first-born son. I’m speechless and heartbroken,” his father mentioned, as tears ran down his face. “My life has modified endlessly.”
“Sister Sister” actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband launched a press release confirming that their niece, Alaina Housley was amongst these killed.
RELATED: Actress Tamera Mowry’s niece Alaina Housley amongst useless
The couple had been frantically looking for Alaina for the reason that early morning hours within the wake of the lethal taking pictures.
Justin Meek, 23, was additionally confirmed to be among the many victims, in accordance with his alma mater California Lutheran College.
Authorities recognized the suspected shooter as 28-year-old Ian David Lengthy, a former machine gunner and embellished fight veteran of america Marine Corps, in accordance with sheriff’s officers. They added that they imagine Lengthy fatally shot himself after the bloodbath. He was discovered inside an workplace close to the doorway of the venue.
RELATED: Father identifies son as considered one of 12 slain in bloodbath in heartbreaking press convention
A motive for the taking pictures remains to be unknown.
Lengthy’s gun, which seems to be a .45-caliber handgun, was bought legally, in accordance with ABC Information. AP studies that he additionally deployed a smoke gadget.
Lengthy lived within the 800 block of Newbury Park together with his mom, about about 5 miles from the taking pictures scene. Deputies responded final April to the house over a name of a household disturbance. Psychological well being specialists talked to the suspect that day and cleared him, Dean mentioned. Regulation enforcement officers at the moment are on the Newbury Park dwelling as a part of the continued investigation.
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One different particular person was wounded by gunfire, and as many as 15 others suffered minor accidents from leaping out home windows or diving underneath tables, authorities mentioned.
The taking pictures occurred round 11:20 p.m. Wednesday at Borderline Bar & Grill at 99 Rolling Oaks Drive. Ventura County sheriff’s officers mentioned there have been studies of photographs fired on the bar and membership.
Dean mentioned the gunman instantly shot a safety guard after coming into the bar, turned to the correct and shot a number of different safety officers, workers and patrons.
Authorities mentioned lots of of individuals had been contained in the bar when the gunfire rang out. In an interview, Buschow got here near tears and mentioned he is aware of the sergeant who died.
“It has been a tough evening for all of us,” he mentioned.
Throughout a three a.m. press briefing, Dean recognized the sergeant as Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the division who thought-about retiring throughout the subsequent yr. At factors he choked up, however mentioned that Helus died a hero.
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Helus was the primary officer contained in the door, Dean mentioned.
“Ron was a hardworking, devoted sheriff’s sergeant. He was completely dedicated. He gave his all and tonight, as I instructed his spouse, he died a hero as a result of he went in to save lots of lives, to save lots of different folks,” he mentioned.
Helus was instantly hit with a number of gunshots, Dean mentioned. The freeway patrolman pulled Helus out, then waited as a SWAT group and scores extra officers arrived. Helus died early Thursday at a hospital.
RELATED: Thousand Oaks taking pictures: Sheriff Sergeant Ron Helus was ‘onerous working, devoted’ and ‘died a hero’
By the point officers entered the bar once more, the gunfire had stopped, in accordance with the sheriff.
Dean additionally mentioned in his 41 years in regulation enforcement, he’d by no means skilled a mass taking pictures. He described the scene as “blood all over the place.” He later revealed the bloodbath occurred on his final day serving as sheriff.
“I by no means thought I might see the issues across the nation that might occur, however I’ve discovered it would not matter what group you are in, it would not matter how protected your group is, it could possibly occur anyplace,” he mentioned.
PHOTOS: Mass taking pictures at nightclub in Thousand Oaks, California
Helus was transported at 10 a.m. by way of motorcade from Los Robles Hospital to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Workplace within the metropolis of Ventura.
Firefighters honored Helus with a large U.S. flag raised by two ladder vans over the route. Individuals lined the streets because the hearse glided by.
President Donald Trump tweeted that he was “absolutely briefed on the horrible taking pictures.” He praised regulation enforcement, saying “Nice bravery proven by police” and mentioned “God bless the entire victims and households of the victims.”
I’ve been absolutely briefed on the horrible taking pictures in California. Regulation Enforcement and First Responders, along with the FBI, are on scene. 13 folks, at the moment, have been reported useless. Likewise, the shooter is useless, together with the primary police officer to enter the bar….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2018
….Nice bravery proven by police. California Freeway Patrol was on scene inside three minutes, with first officer to enter shot quite a few instances. That Sheriff’s Sergeant died within the hospital. God bless the entire victims and households of the victims. Thanks to Regulation Enforcement.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2018
Witness John Hedge, of Moorpark, mentioned he noticed the suspect throwing smoke bombs into the entrance of the restaurant. He additionally mentioned he noticed one safety guard get shot.
“I used to be on the entrance door and I used to be speaking to my stepdad. I simply began listening to these huge pops. Pop, pop, pop. There was in all probability three or 4, I hit the bottom. I lookup – the safety guard is useless. Nicely, I do not wish to say he was useless, however he was shot.
“He was down. The gunman was throwing smoke grenades in all places. I noticed him level to the again of the money register…and he simply stored firing. I ran out the entrance door,” he mentioned.
Hedge added that there could have been about 12 photographs by the point he obtained out of the door. He described the gunman as having a beard and sporting a hat, black jacket and presumably glasses.
“I assumed it was a joke when the photographs began firing. I do know folks there. I hope all people’s OK. I do not know the way I did not get shot,” the person mentioned.
Tim, Hedge’s stepfather, who was in tears, mentioned he was subsequent to the doorway about to depart after enjoying pool when smoke got here into the room.
“He fired the primary shot. I knew it was stay. I knew it was actual. My son thought it was a joke so I pulled him down and obtained some cowl. I regarded up and he was shifting to the correct. He shot the entrance doorman, who was only a younger man. Then he shot the cashier, only a younger lady.
— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) November 8, 2018
“Then he began shifting to the correct. He wasn’t us. Then he went into the workplace, the place all of the money and stuff is. He did not say something in any respect. He simply began taking pictures,” he mentioned.
A number of regulation enforcement companies, together with Simi Valley and Oxnard police, arrived to assist sheriff’s deputies and SWAT officers.
FBI brokers had been additionally on the scene.
The nation bar is situated close to the 101 Freeway off Moorpark Street.
The web site for Borderline confirmed that Wednesday nights are Faculty Nation Nights that final from 9 p.m. till 2 a.m. Faculties close to the membership are California Lutheran College and California State College, Channel Islands, in addition to Moorpark, Ventura and Oxnard Faculty.
College students from Pepperdine College in Malibu additionally usually attend Faculty Nation Nights. The college later confirmed that not less than 16 of its college students had been within the venue on the time of the incident. They mentioned solely a type of college students was unaccounted for — till it was discovered sufferer Alaina Housley, who was a freshman on the campus, was killed.
Apart from sufferer Justin Meek, it is unclear what number of different college students from California Lutheran College had been on the bar through the taking pictures. The campus despatched an alert to college students that every one lessons are canceled for the day.
A household unification middle was arrange at 1375 E. Janss Street, the place a number of devastated households waited to listen to information about their family members.
“Sadly our younger folks, folks at nightclubs, have discovered that this may increasingly occur, and they consider that,” the sheriff mentioned. “Thankfully it helped save lots of lives that they fled the scene so quickly.”
An emergency hotline has been established at (805) 465-6650.
A number of blood drives are being held to assist the victims of the taking pictures. To be taught extra on learn how to assist these affected, click on right here.
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The Related Press contributed to this report
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