Thousand Oaks shooting: 'Hero' policeman Sergeant Ron Helus among 12 killed

Thousand Oaks shooting: 'Hero' policeman Sergeant Ron Helus among 12 killed

When Long approached the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, he used a Glock 21.45 caliber handgun that he purchased legally, according to Dean.

Authorities said he was about a year from retirement.

Dean said that the dead police officer, who was named as Ron Helus and had been on the force for 29 years, was among the first on the scene. He died at a hospital early Thursday.

The family of Justin Meek said the 23-year-old died in the shooting, California Lutheran University said Thursday.

"He died a hero", Dean said.

The bar was holding a college country nights event between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Wednesday night, its website states.

Twelve people, including a veteran police officer responding to the shooting, were killed.

The bar is near several colleges, and is a popular spot for students Wednesday nights.

Kuredjian said it has been "quite some time" since there was a shooting of any kind in Thousand Oaks, a city of about 130,000 people about 65 kilometres west of Los Angeles, just across the county line.

The sheriff of Ventura County, California is describing what happened late Wednesday night when a gunman killed 12 people at a bar.

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A witness told the station, "There were people in the middle dancing and just hanging out and having a good time" when "very, very loud gunshots" rang out inside.

Sheriff Geoff Dean, who is set to retire on Friday, said Long may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and was known to law enforcement officials due to several unspecified "contacts" stretching back multiple years.

Long was armed with a Glock 21, a.45-caliber created to hold 10 rounds plus one in the chamber, according to the sheriff.

The last words Jason Coffman told his son, Cody Coffman, were "I love you", before he went to Borderline Bar and Grill.

Screen capture from video from the scene of a shooting at a bar in California, November 8, 2018.

Thousand Oaks is in Ventura County, about 40 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

Tayler Whitler, 19, said she was inside the bar when a man walked in with his face partly covered by something resembling a ski mask, opened fire on a person working on the door, then began to shoot people at random. "Get out! Let's go!'" she added.

"He had a great sense of humor and like most Marines who have seen combat it could get dark at times, just like all of us", Kellogg said.

Mr Coffman said that Cody was preparing to join the US Army. "That's the stuff I'm truly going to miss", he said.

ABC Reporter Marc Brown said: "We are hearing that some of the people who were at Borderline, were also at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, scene of the worst mass shooting in modern USA history".

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