A man dressed in all black walked into a California nightclub on Wednesday, and opened fire killing at least 12 people, including one police officer.
According to Fox News, hundreds of people, many of them college students from local universities such as California Lutheran University, Pepperdine University and California State University Channel Islands, were celebrating “country night” at Borderline Bar & Grill on Thousand Oaks, Calif. Wednesday night when a mysterious man walked into the club and opened fire around 11:20 p.m. without saying a word.
Reportedly, deputies responded to the call within minutes. Upon arrival, Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, who was the first to arrive on the scene, heard gunfire and immediately entered the bar with a patrolman. Helus was shot several times by the gunman and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Fox News reports that 30 shots were fired, and the gunman used smoke bombs to distract and disorient his victims.
On witness, Teylor Whitter recalled the tragic line of evens saying, “We all just kind of froze for a split second and then everyone booked it and dove to the floor.”
She continued, “After the first round it was quiet for about five seconds, and then some guys who were next to me on the floor got up and started sprinting toward the back door and yelled at everyone, ‘Get up! Run! He’s coming!’”
According to Whitter, the daughter of a military veteran, the gunman appeared to know what he was doing. Whittler told Fox 7 Friends, “While I was inside I would say [I heard]…about a good 30 seconds [of gunshots]…he had two [magazines] that I know with him. He changed them within about six seconds, which was really fast.”
She added, “As soon as he walked in he had perfect form…he looked like he knew what he was doing. He had practiced, he had been shooting [before].”
The gunman was later found dead at the scene. Authorities have not yet confirmed if he was killed by police fire or a self-inflicted gunshot.
Photo courtesy: Feliphe Schiarolli/Unsplash