Early in the morning on Thursday, November 8, a gunman open-fired on a local bar in Thousand Oaks, California. According to police officials, at least 12 people were killed in the latest mass shooting. The suspect was found dead of a single gunshot wound, but it is unclear who fired that shot.
The suspect was a 29-year-old white man who used a .45-caliber handgun.
Witnesses say the suspect entered the Southern California bar in Ventura County wearing all black before tossing smoke grenades and firing off approximately 30 shots with a semi-automatic weapon.
Among the fatalities are Ventura County Sheriff’s Sargeant Ron Helus, a 29-year-old veteran of the department who was a year away from retirement. Helus was one of the first to confront the shooter before dying from injuries in the hospital an hour later.
“The gunman was throwing smoke grenades all over the place,” a witness told ABC News. “I saw him point to the back of the cash register … and he just kept firing. I ran out the front door.
The shooting took place at Borderline Bar and Grill, which is a country-themed bar known for live music events and a large dance floor.
It was reportedly “College Night” at the bar when the shooting took place.
People “dog-piled on top of each other” trying to hide in silence, she said. Some men ran toward them and said the gunman was coming. As they escaped through the bar’s back door, she heard a second round of shots. There was no screaming, she said. Just gunfire and stampeding crowds.
“I think everyone was in so much of a shock that it was sheer panic,” Whittler said.
Nick Steinwender, who is part of the university’s student government, said his friends were inside the bar when the shooting started. He described what they told him to the affiliate.
“It was chaos, people jumping out of windows, hopping over gates and just trying to get out,” he said. “From what I heard, the gunman started shooting at the front desk. … Students were hiding in the attics, bathrooms and stuff like that.”
There is currently no word from authorities on whether the shooting had any link to terrorism, but police are continuing to investigate the matter.
Where Is Borderline Bar & Grill?
Borderline Bar & Grill is located in Thousand Oaks, California, which is in Ventura County in Southern California. The award-winning bar has been open in Thousand Oaks since 1993 after initially opening its doors in the late 80’s in Malibu. Thousand Oaks is the second-largest city in Ventura County.
It was “College Night” at the bar when the shooting occurred. Students from California Lutheran University and Pepperdine University were reportedly in the venue when shots broke out.
On Wednesday nights, the bar opens its doors to anyone 18 and older for a night of dancing.
Borderline Bar & Grill is a country-themed bar that is known for it’s large dance floor, according to ABC News.
“With over 2,500 square feet of wide open dance floor, Borderline has provided a haven for country line dancing folks of all ages equipped with pool tables,” the website said. “Over the years, Borderline has hosted many legendary performances such as The Beach Boys, John Rich, Collin Raye, Mark Chesnutt, Lee Brice, Adam Carolla & Tyler Farr to name a few.”