THOUSAND OAKS, California (Eagle News) — A gunman opened fire at the Borderline Bar and Grill late Wednesday night killing at least 12 people, including Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus.
Witnesses said that the gunman entered the bar and grill and threw several smoke grenades before he started shooting into the crowd that was composed of mainly college students.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean described the scene during a press conference.
“It’s a horrific scene there. There is blood everywhere,” Dean said.
He also addressed the possible link to terrorism.
“We have no idea if there is a terrorism link to this or not. As you know, these are ongoing investigations and that information will come out as soon as we are able to determine exactly who the suspect was and what motive he might have had for this horrific event.”
The gunman died during the shooting bringing the total number of casualties for this Thousand Oaks shooting to 13. This is on the heels of the October 27 mass shooting wherein a gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, killing 11 and injuring six.
Police and FBI are continuing their investigations.
According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, a procession will take place at 10 a.m. today for Sgt. Helus. The 29-year-veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office will be transported via motorcade from Los Robles Hospital to westbound Janss Road in Thousand Oaks and from there will travel southbound on Lynn Road to US 101 northbound to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office in the city of Ventura.
Sgt. Helus leaves behind a wife and a son.
US President Donald Trump tweeted about the tragedy:
“….Great bravery shown by police. California Highway Patrol was on scene within 3 minutes, with first officer to enter shot numerous times. That Sheriff’s Sergeant died in the hospital. God bless all of the victims and families of the victims. Thank you to Law Enforcement.”
(Washington DC Bureau, Eagle News Service)