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13 people dead after 'horrific' mass shooting at bar in California

The gunman, who is among the dead, has been named as Ian David Long.

Updated Nov 8th 2018, 3:18 PM

abc2 The scene of the shooting Source: Screengrab/abc7.com

THIRTEEN PEOPLE ARE dead after a man opened fire in a bar in California, police have confirmed.

The mass shooting took place at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks.

The original death toll was confirmed as 11 before being updated to 13.

A sheriff’s sergeant, Ron Helus, who was responding to the shooting, is among the fatalities. He was shot after he entered the building and died at a hospital early this morning. 

The gunman is also among the dead. It’s not yet clear how he died. He has been named as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a former US Marine.

He deployed a smoke device when he entered the venue and used a .45-caliber handgun, authorities said.

California Bar Shooting People comfort each other as they stand near the scene of the shooting. Source: Mark J Terrill/AP

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters: “It’s a horrific scene in there. There’s blood everywhere.”

Hundreds of people were inside the bar when the shooter opened fire. 

The massacre is the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since 17 classmates and teachers were gunned down at a Parkland, Florida school nine months ago.

It comes less than two weeks after a gunman killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. 

‘Terrible shooting’

US President Donald Trump said on Twitter he has been “fully briefed on the terrible shooting”. He praised law enforcement, saying “great bravery” was shown by police, and added: “God bless all of the victims and families of the victims.”

Long was 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 at the door, then appeared to open fire at random at the people inside, they said.

Many more people had more minor injuries, including some that came from their attempt to flee, Dean said.

‘He died a hero’ 

Speaking about his slain colleague, Dean said Seregant Helus had been on the force for 29 years and was due to retire in the “next year or so”.

He told reporters Helus was “a hardworking, dedicated sheriff’s sergeant”.

He was totally committed, he gave his all and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero – he went into save lives, to save other people.

Dean said around 10 other people were shot and wounded. No other information about the victims was immediately known.

Police received reports of a shooting at around 11:20pm local time (7.20am Irish time).

Video won’t play? Click here

Police told the Los Angeles Times at least 30 shots were fired at the bar, which is about 65km west of Los Angeles. 

Ventura County Sheriff’s Captain Garo Kuredjian earlier told reporters that shots were still being fired as deputies arrived at the scene. 

Law enforcement and emergency crews are at the scene. Authorities have urged the public to avoid the area.

The venue was hosting a country music night with dance lessons for college students last night, according to its website.

Video won’t play? Click here

“We were dancing and I saw someone walk in and then after that I just saw shots go off and we just got down,” one young woman told reporters.

Contains reporting from AP

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