An unidentified gunman killed 12 people after he opened fire in a crowded bar in southern California on Thursday. The Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks area was packed as it was hosting a weekly 'college night' when the gunman entered and started firing.
The dead include 11 people in the bar and a sheriff's sergeant who was the first officer to arrive at the scene, an Associated Press report said. The gunman was also found dead at the scene. Authorities have not been able to establish the cause of his death, or his identity and motive behind the shooting, the report added.
The assailant first fired at the person working the door, entered the bar and started shooting random people, the report said. Hundreds of people fled the scene, with some using the bar stools to break the windows to escape. Sheriff's Sergeant Ron Helus and a passing highway patrolman were responding to several 911 distress calls when they arrived at the bar around 11:20 pm local time. They heard gunshots and went inside.
Helus received multiple shot wounds as he entered the bar, the AP report said. The highway patrolman accompanying him cleared the area and pulled Helus out to wait for the SWAT team and other officers. By the time officers entered the bar, the shooting had stopped and the gunman was dead on the floor, along with 11 of his victims. Helus later succumbed to his injuries in a hospital.
The Borderline Bar and Grill is a popular hangout spot for students of nearby California Lutheran University, the AP report said. It's also close to several other universities including California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, Pepperdine University in Malibu and Moorpark College in Moorpark.
At the time of the incident, the bar was hosting a college night and two-step lessons, the report further added. When the gunman entered the bar, people tried to flee or take cover under the tables. Some used bar stools to break the windows, helping dozens to escape, the report said.
The latest massacre has happened less than two weeks after shootout in a Pittsburgh synagogue which claimed 11 lives.
Edited by Vivek Punj