Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

What we know about the California mass shooting

What we know about the California mass shooting

Law enforcement and emergency crews flooded the scene and police urged the public to avoid the area.

Police said a highway patrol officer and another policeman, Sergeant Ron Helus, entered the bar after hearing gunshots.

Sergeant Helus was shot and severely wounded. "I told his wife he died a hero - he went in to save lives", Dean said.

He died at a hospital early on Thursday but authorities did not say how the gunman died.

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

Some witnesses in the bar were forced to use bar stools to break windows and escape, authorities said. "Pop, pop, pop. There was probably three or four, I hit the ground", John Hedge, at the bar with his stepfather, told CNN affiliate KABC.

"I looked over and he was shooting at people. Well, I don't want to say he was dead, but he was shot".

Tayler Whitler, 19, said she was inside the bar when a man walked in with his face partly covered by something resembling a ski mask, opened fire on a person working on the door, then began to shoot people at random.

Hundreds of people were inside the bar when the shooting occurred, the Los Angeles Times reported. People dropped to the floor and hid behind bar stools in stunned silence.

Kuredjian said that shots were still being fired when sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene.

"I heard shots and that's not a noise you mistake for anything else", said Matt Wennerstrom, who described the shooter as tall, over six feet, and dressed in dark clothing.

Dean said police had previous run-ins with Long, including a call to his home where he was acting irrationally. The Western-style bar hosts theme nights such as country, salsa and swing dancing.

"(He) said to her, "Hey I got to go handle a call.

He said he heard from people inside that they were hiding in toilets and the attic of the bar.

"I saw him point to the back of the cash register ... and he just kept firing".

Thirteen people have died, including a gunman and a sheriff's sergeant, after a mass shooting at a California bar popular with college students, police said.

"It was chaos, people jumping out of windows, people hopping over gates to get out" Steinwender told local media.

The motive of the attack is not clear, the sheriff said, and authorities are looking at all possibilities, including it being terror-related.

"The University offers its deepest condolences and is praying for everyone involved in tonight's tragic events", it tweeted.

Thousand Oaks is a suburb of Los Angeles, located about 40 miles northwest of downtown.

Numerous victims of the Las Vegas shooting had traveled to the country music festival from Southern California and several had connections to Thousand Oaks.

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