Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Crowds Line Streets to Honor Officer Killed in California Bar Shooting

In this image made from aerial video police vehicles line a road in the vicinity of a shooting in Thousand Oaks California early Thursday Nov. 8 2018. Authorities say there were multiple injuries _ including one officer _ after a man opened fire in S At least eleven wounded in shooting at bar in southern California
Patty Aguilar | 09 November, 2018, 13:27

A year ago, 58 people were shot dead at a country music festival in Las Vegas, the worst mass shooting in modern USA history, and several of the patrons in the California bar had also been at the Nevada concert.

Ventura County Sheriff Ron Helus, who arrived on the scene to stop the gunman, was shot and killed. It also came less than two weeks after a gunman massacred 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The identity of the gunman is allegedly 28-year-old David Ian Long, a military veteran who apparently drove his mother's vehicle to the scene.

Terrified revelers used barstools to break second-floor windows and jump to safety to escape the dance bar, where the gunman was later found dead.

Helus was immediately hit with multiple gunshots, Dean said.

Before he responded to the shooting, Wednesday night was like any other busy night for him, backing up fellow deputies on every call that he could, VCSD Senior Deputy Julie Novak told CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS.

"The fact that he was the first in the door doesn't surprise me at all", said fellow Ventura County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Eric Buschow of Sgt. Ron Helus.

"Sgt. Helus will be transported via motorcade from Los Robles Hospital to westbound Janss Road", the department said in a statement.

President Donald Trump ordered the United States flag at the White House and other government buildings to be flown at half-staff following the shooting, which came just 10 days after a gunman killed 11 worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

About ten other victims were wounded.

Mr Dean said the other prior encounters were a traffic accident and an incident when he was the victim of a beating at a bar.

Survivors described moments of panic and heroism.

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She said a group of 20 other patients were initially evacuated but then returned to the facility because of gridlocked traffic. Four hospital employees were briefly trapped in the basement and rescued by California Highway Patrol officers, Kinney said.

Tayler Whitler, 19, said she was dancing when the gunman opened fire.

"Hey, I gotta go handle a call".

The Gun Violence Archive says more than 12,400 lives in America have been lost in 2018 as the result of gun violence.

Housley's Facebook page says she is from Napa, Calif., and photos on the site include several pictures of her surrounded by a group of friends at what appears to be her graduation from Vintage High School.

In the hours after the shooting concerned family members gathered at a nearby teen center waiting to learn the fate of loved ones. Jason Coffman, wept as he told reporters that his son, Cody, 22, was among the dead. He said he had an army of friends and families on alert, making calls, and watching the news looking out for his son.

Late Wednesday, the Borderline Bar and Grill was crowded with students who regularly attended its country music dance party.

Dean said he believed about 150 to 200 people were inside the bar at the time of the shooting.

He praised the murdered officer, a close friend, as a hero, saying: "He went in there to save people and paid the ultimate price".

Helus was a 29-year veteran of the force with a wife and son and planned to retire next year.

He said he has no doubt Helus' tactics at the scene "were sound when he went in".

A SWAT team from the Ventura County Sherrif's Department, arrived within minutes, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other officers to find the bar strewn with bodies, survivors huddling in terror, and others desperately trying to get out.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he had "been fully briefed on the awful shooting", the latest chapter in America's epidemic of gun violence that came just 10 days after a gunman killed 11 worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The bar is near the campus.

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