Authorities have identified the gunman who opened fire on a crowd at a country dance bar in California, resulting in the death of 13 people, as Ian David Long, 28, police confirmed on Thursday.
Long was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said at a press conference later Thursday morning.
He served from August 2008 until March 2013 and earned the rank of corporal in 2011, according to the Marine Corps. During his time in the military, Mr. Long saw combat and spent about six months deployed to Afghanistan.
NBC News, which was first to identify the suspected shooter, said he did not carry a driver’s license or other form of identification.
Sheriff Dean said deputies were called to Long’s house in April, where he was “acting irrationally.” A mental health official cleared Long at the time.
Authorities have not been able to determine a motive yet.
The dead included 11 people inside the bar, the gunman and a sheriff’s sergeant who was the first officer inside the door, Sheriff Dean said.
“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Sheriff Dean said at a news conference early Thursday in the parking lot of the Borderline Bar & Grill. “There’s blood everywhere.”
The gunman was tall and wearing all black with a hood over his head and his face partly covered, witnesses told TV stations at the scene. He first fired on a person working the door then appeared to open fire at random at the people inside, they said.
At the press conference, Sheriff Dean confirmed the suspect used a Glock 21, .45 caliber handgun. Typically the gun holds 10 rounds, but the one used in the shooting had an extended magazine, so authorities don’t know yet how many rounds it held or were used. They believe it was the only weapon used.
Many more people had more minor injuries, including some that came from the attempt to flee, Sheriff Dean said.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus and a passing highway patrolman were responding to several 911 calls when they arrived at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks at about 11:20 p.m., the sheriff said. They heard gunfire and went inside.
Sgt. Helus was immediately hit with multiple gunshots, Sheriff Dean said. The highway patrolman cleared the perimeter and pulled Sgt. Helus out and waited as a SWAT team and scores more officers arrived.
By the time they entered the bar again, the gunfire had stopped, and they found 12 people dead inside, including the gunman.
It’s not yet clear how the gunman died, and authorities do not have any idea of a motive, Sheriff Dean said.
President Trump took to Twitter Thursday morning to offer his condolences to the victims and their families as well as praise law enforcement on the scene.
In response to the tragedy, Mr. Trump ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Saturday.
• Dave Boyer contributed to this report. This story is based in part on wire services.