Sad news coming out of the L.A. area this morning. Specifically from Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles west of L.A. Late last night, a little before 11:30. The shooter is dead, however we’re not yet sure if he took his own life or if the police got to him first.
The bar in question is Borderline Bar & Grill, which is a popular bar among local college students. Wednesday nights are college night, so people as young as 18 can enter the bar. It was a typical busy night there, with hundreds of people out to have fun, like Teylor Whittler who was celebrating her 21st birthday. She says she thought the gunfire noises were firecrackers, so she went to see. Only when Teylor got there, she saw a man dressed in all black holding a handgun.
Here’s what we know. According to a witness, a man, dressed in all black, entered the bar around 11:20. He shouted something, and fired some shots towards the ceiling. As he was walking in, the gunman threw some smoke bombs into the bar, and that’s when he started firing into the crowd. People were trying to escape and hide, with many injuring themselves in the process. People were using chairs to break windows to get out. Some were hiding in bathrooms, and a few more found some attic space where they could hide.
As of right now, the number of injured people is increasing as we learn who they are, but so far there are around 10. There are 13 total dead including the gunman and one Police Officer, according to reports. Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Ron Helus was a 29-year veteran of the police force who had planned on retiring next year. He was injured, dying several hours later at a hospital. He called his wife and son before entering the bar to respond to the shooting. Sheriff Geoff Dean says that Sergeant Helus died as a hero.
This man, Matt Wennerstrom, is credited for saving at least 30 people during the shooting. He helped get those people out through a window he broke out with a chair. Thank you, Matt, for helping to save as many as you could.
With blood still on the sleeve of his shirt, Matt Wennerstrom describes the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill. He says he threw a chair through a window allowing others to escape. @ABC7 pic.twitter.com/AnvYlSulhW
— Jory Rand (@ABC7Jory) November 8, 2018
INFORMATION ABOUT THE SHOOTER:
We still (as of 6:30am) don’t have much information about the shooter, but a couple details have been coming out. According to an anonymous police source, the shooter was 29-years-old (corrected below in a new update), and drove his mother’s car to the bar. He apparently said nothing before opening fire. He was armed with just a handgun and “a smoke device.”
UPDATE 7:30 – According to KCRA, the gunman was actually 28-years-old, and was a veteran of war with the Marines. He had previous contact with police back in April due to various mental health concerns. They’re saying that he took his own life inside the bar.
We’ll keep you updated as more information comes out. Source.