A Marine Corps veteran who had served in Afghanistan fatally shot at least 12 people Wednesday night when he stormed a crowded country and western dance hall in Thousand Oaks, Calif., the authorities said.
At least 200 people were reportedly inside the Borderline Bar and Grill, which was hosting a student line-dancing night. Police named the suspect as 28-year-old Ian David Long. Earlier this year, police mental health professionals cleared him after he was found behaving “irrationally” at his home, said authorities.
Police say the suspect was dressed in black, and forced his way into the bar after shooting the bouncer. A college country music night was under way when the suspect apparently threw a smoke grenade before opening fire, witnesses say.
Police say he used a legally owned .45 calibre Glock semi-automatic handgun, which had an extended magazine that is illegal in the state of California. The extended magazine allowed the gun to carry more than its typical 11-bullet capacity. Police say they do not yet know how many shots were fired, or whether the gunman reloaded during the attack.