THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — A sheriff says 13 people are dead, including a sheriff’s sergeant and the gunman, after a shooting inside a crowded Southern California bar late Wednesday.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean says sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus responded to the scene and was shot after he entered the building. He died at a hospital early Thursday.
Authorities did not say how the gunman died.
Dean says around 10 other people were shot and wounded. No other information on the victims was immediately known.
Ventura County sheriff’s Capt. Garo Kuredjian said hundreds of people were inside the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks at 11:20 p.m., and shots were still being fired when deputies arrived.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Garo Kuredjian said the first reports of shots fired came around 11:20 p.m. at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, which is about 40 miles west of Los Angeles.
The bar’s website says its hosts “College Country Night” every Wednesday. Police said hundreds were inside when the shooting occurred.
Several people from inside the bar told TV stations that a tall man wearing all black with a hood and his face partly covered first shot at a person working the door, then opened fire, seemingly at random, at the people inside.
People screamed and fled to all corners of the bar, while a few people threw barstools through the windows and helped dozens escape, witnesses said.
It was college night and country two-step lessons were being offered Wednesday at the Borderline, according to its website.
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 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Los Angeles, just across the county line.