At least 12 people were killed after a gunman opened fire late Wednesday, November 7th in a Southern California bar that was reportedly hosting a college night for country music fans, People.com confirms. Shots were first reported about 11:20 p.m. at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, west of Los Angeles, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters.
A Ventura sheriff’s sergeant, identified as Ron Helus, was one of the first on the scene about three minutes later and was shot as he entered the bar and died at the hospital, Dean said. Eleven other slain victims were found inside. Dean said the unnamed shooter also died in the assault, though it was not immediately clear how or if he was being counted among the total dead.
Approximately 10 others were shot, the Associated Press reports. Dean said the surviving victims inside the bar had “different levels of injury” and were transported to area hospitals. Dean said they believe the gunman acted alone. Other details about the shooting were not immediately available.
A gunman in all-black sprung his assault on a bar full of hundreds of people, firing indiscriminately and sowing further chaos with smoke grenades, the Los Angeles Times reports.
President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday morning, November 8th, that he had been briefed about the “terrible” shooting and said 13 people had been killed. He lauded the work of first responders.
The bar was hosting a “College Country Night” on Wednesday, according to the AP and CNN. The network described Borderline as a popular spot for local college students. “[It’s] just a place you go to hang out with friends, just have fun as young adults,” witness Holden Harrah told CNN.
But then, on Wednesday: violence erupted. “A gentleman, who walked in through the front door, shot the girl that was right behind the counter,” Harrah said.
Erika Sigman, 19, told the Times that the Borderline Bar was one of her hangouts—a familiarity now warped by the bloodshed. “I’m a Thousand Oaks resident,” she said. “This is a safe place. My parents let me go here. This is a trusted place…To know that this happened in my safe place is a very, very scary thing.”
Outside the bar stood Savannah Stafseth, who had been cut on her arms. She was crying. “There are no words. Those are my people,” she told the Times. “It’s just not fair. It’s not fair.”
This is a breaking news story.