A 28-year-old man, identified by police as Ian David Long, was dressed all in black when he tossed a smoke device into a packed California country dance bar and, amid the ensuing confusion, sprayed rounds from a .45-caliber handgun into a crowd filled with college students, killing 12 people Wednesday night before apparently committing suicide.
Officers at the scene in Thousand Oaks, Calif., found the former Marine dead of a gunshot wound in an office inside the bar.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said authorities had “several contacts” with Long in recent years, typically for what he described as “minor” incidents. Dean did say, however, Long may have suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
As Long shot his way into Borderline Bar & Grill on Wednesday night, witnesses said some patrons jumped out of second-floor windows, others used furniture to smash makeshift escape routes and several more people hid in an attic.
Here’s what we know about the gunman so far.
Ian David Long, of Newbury Park, was identified as the shooter by police during a Thursday news conference. Authorities revealed Long had a history of interactions with law enforcement officers.
Among the incidents, which spanned multiple years, Long was involved in a minor traffic collision, was a victim of a battery at a local bar in 2015 and, in April, deputies were called to his house for a “subject disturbing.”
“[Police] went to the house. They talked to him. He was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally,” Dean said, adding a mental health specialist was called to the scene and later cleared Long, who officers declined to arrest. “He was left at that scene last April.”
At that time, given Long was a military veteran, some officers expressed concern he may have been suffering from PTSD, Dean said, though he didn’t elaborate on whether PTSD was being investigated as a driving force behind Wednesday’s slaughter.