Eli Ridder | Report
A gunman entered a country music bar late on Wednesday night local time in California and opened fire, killing 12 and injuring several others.
The gunman, who was described as wearing dark clothes and possibly hooded, was found dead inside when local police arrived on scene in Thousand Oaks.
Sergeant Ron Helus was identified as one of the victims by local police.
Mr. Helus confronted the California bar mass shooter and died a hero, Sheriff Geoff Dean of Ventura County told reporters.
“He was willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of others,” the sheriff said, explaining the officer rushed in just three minutes after the shooting started.
At least 200 individuals were inside Borderline Bar and Grill, a country music pub, for a popular university student night.
What we know
At around 11:20 p.m. local time, or 2:20 a.m. ET, the gunman entered the bar and opened fire.
A few survivors who talked to local news initially thought that it was “a joke” and did not realize there was a shooting right away.
However, once the shooting was underway across the bar were quick to run, hide and scramble for cover.
A injured man told local television channel KTLA: “We just dropped to the ground, we heard a lot of screaming. My friend is the DJ so she cut off the music, we just heard a lot of mayhem.”
Reports say the suspect may have used smoke grenades and at least one weapon, described as a semi-automatic handgun by witnesses.
Image from AP.