US: 12 Killed, 10 Injured in California Bar Shooting

At least 12 people were killed in California after a man entered a suburban bar and opened fire.

An unidentified gunman killed 12 people, including a sheriff's deputy, when he walked into a Southern California bar and grill and started shooting Wednesday night, police said.

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The gunman was also killed, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told a news conference Thursday, though it was not immediately clear by whom.

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.

"It's a horrific scene in there," Dean said. "There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that."

@brittny_mejia Scene out here right now. Teylor Whittler, 19, was here for her friend’s 21st bday. When she walked out of the bar, police took her shirt because it was covered in blood. She doesn’t know whose.

 

The sheriff's deputy who was killed was identified as Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year-veteran of the department, Dean said.

No other victims have been identified. The sheriff said the gunman has not been identified and there was no known motive for the shooting.

“We just dropped to the ground, we heard a lot of screaming. My friend is the DJ so she cut off the music. We just heard a lot of mayhem,” an unidentified man told local reporters

“I was on the dance floor and I heard the gunshots, so I looked back and then all of a sudden everyone screamed 'get down!' Another witness, Teylor Whittler, said.

"It was a huge panic, everyone got up, I was trampled. I was kind of left on the floor until some guy came behind me and grabbed me and dragged me out," he added.

Pepperdine University has stated that students from the university were present during the shooting but does not have further information. 

One group was celebrating a friend's 21st birthday party, a witness said. 

Matt Wennerstrom, 20, said he first saw a figure with a handgun opening fire on employees at the front desk.

@vcsjoecurley Matt Wennerstrom, 20, of Newbury Park explains what it was like to be in Borderline Bar and Grill tonight when a gunman opened fire.

 

"At that point, I grabbed as many people around me as I could and pulled them down underneath the pool table that we were closest to until he ran out of bullets for that magazine and had to reload." 

At that point, Wennerstrom told reporters, he and others threw bar stools to break the windows and shuffle people out of the building

He described the gunman as just over six-feet tall in all-dark clothing.

Accounts about the incident varied widely throughout the early morning hours with initial reports saying the suspect was in custody. But Sheriff Dean has since said that the gunman died at the scene.

Some social media accounts said a bearded man wearing a dark trenchcoat walked in and started shooting.

Witnesses told CNN that patrons were there for the "College Country" night with line-dancing, music, drinks, and food and the place was packed with a young crowd.

When the shots started, some people smashed windows with chairs to escape, witnesses told CNN.

Other witnesses and people posting on social media said that the man might have fired up to 30 times. Others reported fewer shots, and he might have tossed smoke bombs.

Officials said that shots were still being fired when the first officers arrived at the scene.

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California cops shoot 15yo teen with air gun dead in front of school

Police officers in San Diego have shot and killed a teenager who brandished a ‘gun’ which turned to be an air pistol at a high school parking lot after the teen allegedly alerted police himself to the incident. An internal inquiry has been launched into the incident.

The officers, whose names are yet to be disclosed, were responding to a 911 call at the Torrey Pines High School in the Carmel Valley neighborhood of San Diego at about 3:30am local time on Saturday.

 
© Carlo Allegri

When they arrived at the school’s parking space, located in front of the school’s entrance, the officers saw a youngster who “pulled a handgun from his waistband and pointed it directly at one of the officers,” San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said in a statement.

Despite persistent calls by the officers for the   boy to lay down his ‘weapon,’ the suspect reportedly refused to comply with the requests, prompting police to open fire out of precaution, according to police.

"Fearing for their safety, both officers fired their weapons at the male striking him numerous times,'' Acting Homicide Lt. Mike Holded said, as cited by CBS8.

He added that the officers, both police veterans, rushed to resuscitate the teenager following the shooting and called an ambulance.

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Medics were, however, unable to save the boy who died of multiple gunshot wounds in hospital.

It was later established that the weapon the teen wielded during the standoff was in effect a “semi-automatic BB air pistol.”

None of the officers were injured.

A preliminary probe into the incident suggested that the killed teenager and the anonymous caller who tipped off the police was the same person. 

“We believe that he actually called and spoke about himself in the third person,” Holden said, as cited by 41NBC. He noted that the caller did not specify any details of the situation.

“It was a phone call that ‘there’s a male juvenile in front of the school, it appears someone should check on him,” Holden said, referring to it as “a very general ‘check the welfare’ call.”

@danalittlefield Police personnel collecting evidence outside Torrey Pines High School, the scene of an officer-involved shooting early this morning.

One of the policemen responding to the call had received a special training in managing situations involving juveniles, according to Holden.

Both officers have now been suspended from field work and have been assigned desk duties, as the investigation is underway.

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The fatal shooting was captured on police officers’ body cams, Holden confirmed. However, he did not say if the footage will be released.

The teenager was subsequently identified as a local resident and a student of the school. Police said they will not release his identity because of his age.

Eric Dill, the head of San Dieguito Union High School District to which the school is affiliated, described the incident as “very traumatic for our students, staff, families and community,” urging all those concerned not to speculate on its causes.

“I know this is difficult, but we ask that you please refrain from conjecture or spreading rumors,” Dill wrote.      

Counselling will be provided to students and staff at all district schools on Monday.  

 
© Lee Merritt

The incident comes shortly after a separate high-profile police shooting of another 15-year-old, black high school student Jordan Edwards in Balch Springs, Texas, on April 29.

Latest media reports suggest that the officer charged with Edwards’ murder faces life imprisonment.

Balch Springs police officer and Iraq combat veteran Roy Oliver fired into a car of teenagers after they ignored his orders to stop while driving away from a party.

Edwards was hit in the head and died on the scene.

The officer was initially responding to a 911 call alleging that several underage teenagers were consuming alcohol at a party.

In their report on the events, police claimed they also heard several shots being fired at the party.

An attorney for the slain teenager’s family later said that neither he nor anybody in the car possessed any weapons or drank alcohol. Oliver was dismissed from the force on Tuesday for “violating several department policies.”

Edwards’ murder has sparked a massive campaign to bring the officer to justice with about 300 attending a vigil to pay respects to the teenager in Balch Springs on Thursday.

  • Published in World
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