Using a smoke bomb and a handgun, a hooded former Marine dressed all in black opened fire during college night at a country music bar in Southern California, killing 12 people and sending hundreds fleeing in panic before apparently taking his own life, authorities said Thursday.
He said Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department, later died after being taken to a hospital. "I mean, he's a resident of this area, and I would have to - common sense would speculate that there was some reason he went here", said Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean.
Long was "the victim of a battery" at a bar in Thousand Oaks in January 2015, Dean said.
Thousand Oaks is a city of about 130,000 people about 64 kilometers west of Los Angeles, just across the county line.
"Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff's sergeant", Dean said, according to KABC.
At least 13 people were killed, including the gunman.
"I've been here fighting for him all morning long, and we did just get the news that he was one of [those] killed last night".
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ABC Reporter Marc Brown said: "We are hearing that some of the people who were at Borderline, were also at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, scene of the worst mass shooting in modern United States history".
Forensics officers scour the scene at the Borderline Bar & Grill after the shooting.
Federal Bureau of Investigation officials were seen visiting a residence believed to be Long's in Newbury Park, California, which neighbors Thousand Oaks.
The 23-year-old "heroically saved lives" during the shooting before his death, the school said.
The gunman was found dead.
Holden Harrah, a young man who saw the incident, cried as he told CNN that a place where he goes every week to have fun with friends had been a scene of carnage.
An unknown number of people were also wounded during the attack at the Borderline Bar and Grill, a Country & Western venue in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks where a crowd had gathered for a night of dancing, drinking and eating. A reporter spoke to a man who had not heard from his son. "They would go fishing up in the Sierras together".
"(He) said to her, 'Hey I got to go handle a call. California Highway Patrol was on scene within 3 minutes, with first officer to enter shot numerous times. He first fired on a person working the door then appeared to open fire at random at the people inside, they said.