12 die in Thousand-Oaks shooting

Among the victims was a survivor of Las Vegas massacre and a police officer

Photo courtesy of AFP – Getty Images | 12 people died and another 10 were injured in a mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Californa. It was the 307th mass shooting this year. The alleged gunman was a former United States Marine.

Another mass shooting claimed the lives of 12 in Thousand Oaks, California, last Wednesday. 10 other people were injured in the shooting.

The 28 year-old gunman, Ian David Long, opened fire at Borderline Bar & Grill that was open to people over the age of 18 and was celebrating “College Country Night.” The bar itself is close to many universities and students were known to frequent the establishment, especially during the college nights.

The victims included eight college students as well as a police officer, Sargent Ron Helus, who was due to retire next year according to BBC News. Another victim, 27 year-old Telemachus Orfanos, died in the shooting after surviving the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in October 2017.

Another survivor of the Las Vegas shooting, Nicholas Champion, was also at the bar on Wednesday night.

“It’s the second time in about a year and a month that this has happened,” Champion said.

A few of Champions’ friends at the bar were also at the Festival in Las Vegas.

“We’re all a big family and unfortunately this family got hit twice,” he continued. “It is very sad that this type of thing happens. It especially hit close to home for me because it occurred at a college bar.” Xavier junior Marissa Busch said, “It is definitely in the back of my mind and will affect my decisions of going out going forward. You do not think that it will happen until it does.”

The gunman, a former U.S. Marine, set off a smoke bomb to create confusion before opening fire into the crowd. CNN reported that “investigators believe that the gunman legally purchased a .45 caliber Glock 21” with an extended magazine, which is illegal in California.

Long, according to the Department of Defense, served as a Marine from August 2008 to March 2013. He is reported to have had multiple run ins with the law. Some close to Long have speculated that he may have been suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of his time in Afghanistan. BBC News reported that he served a tour in Afghanistan from November 2010 to June 2011.

USA Today reported that Long “had an episode of erratic behavior last spring that suggested PTSD” in which the authorities were contacted.

Long was living with his mother, Colleen, at the time of the shooting. Their neighbor, 79 year-old Donald MacLeod, told reporters that “he often heard Long arguing with his mother at all hours, sometimes in the middle of the night.”

CBS News reported that Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said “the gunman, a former machine gunner and decorated veteran of the war in Afghanistan, is believed to have killed himself late Wednesday at the Borderline Bar and Grill in the city of Thousand Oaks.”

When asked whether he felt safe going to bars, Xavier senior Tom Smith said he does.

“Everyone feels safe and says it won’t happen to them, and then when it does happen near them, that’s when people think they aren’t safe,” he said.

The Thousand Oaks shooting is the 307th mass shooting this year. It is also the deadliest mass shooting this year since the shooting at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when 17 classmates and teachers were gunned down on Valentine’s Day.

By: Michael Rauber | Staff Writer