An ex-marine shot and killed 12 people – including a sheriff – in a horrific mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Southern California. The shooter entered the Borderline Bar and Grill at about 11.20pm on Wednesday, Nov. 7, and opened fire at the crowd with a .45 caliber handgun. He also tossed smoke grenades onto the dance floor, as panicked bar-goers fled from the gunfire.
The gunman has been identified as former marine Ian Long, aged 28. He killed 11 people and injured about 15 others in the shooting spree, starting with the bouncer stationed outside the bar. The final casualty numbers have not yet been confirmed. Long was wearing a face mask and sunglasses when he entered the venue, and witnesses who escaped the bar said he moved with calm precision.
Sheriff Ron Helus – a 29-year veteran on the force – was the first officer on the scene. He was shot by Long and died later in hospital. After shooting the sheriff, Ian Long reportedly took his own life.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
In the aftermath of the attack, neighbors of the shooter told news outlets that the former soldier was known to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He served with the U.S. Marine Corps from 2008 to 2013, and his service included at least one tour of Afghanistan. It has also been revealed that police and mental health experts visited Long’s home in April 2018 after being alerted to a disturbance. No further action was taken at the time. The Glock handgun used by Long at the Borderline Bar was bought legally in Ventura County. However, police have confirmed that the weapon had been modified to include an extended ammunition magazine.
Venue Shooting Liability
The Borderline Bar and Grill was packed with more than 100 people on Wednesday night at the time of the shooting. Every Wednesday is Student Night at the bar, when under-21s are admitted, as long as they get black X stamps on their hands to show that they are not allowed to drink. Students from nearby Pepperdine University and California Lutheran University were both at the bar when the incident unfolded.
Liability in such cases is complex. A bar or other venue is not automatically responsible for everything that happens within its walls. In this case, it is unreasonable to expect bar owners to have anticipated this event. However, in some cases, venues are faced with liability issues. They have strict regulations to work to, including providing security, working to a maximum guest capacity, and the number of working emergency exits in the building. Anyone who has suffered loss or injury in such an incident should contact a premises liability attorney at Bisnar Chase. Our experts are able to help victims explore their legal options and seek compensation for their clients.