13 dead after California bar shooting, Shooter Included

Emergency services at the scene. Pic

Emergency services at the scene. Pic

Kuredjian said it has been "quite some time" since there was a shooting of any kind in Thousand Oaks, a city of about 130,000 people about 40 miles west of Los Angeles, just across the county line.

All the victims were killed inside the bar in the suburb of Thousand Oaks late on Wednesday, including the officer who had been called to the scene, Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters.

The bar was hosting a college country music night.

Witnesses reported a black-clad shooter hurled smoke bombs into the restaurant as he let loose a fusillade of shots.

Matt Wennerstron, a 20 year old college student and regular at the bar, said the shooter fired a short-barreled pistol that apparently had a 10-15 round magazine.

Reports say the suspect may have used smoke grenades and at least one gun during the attack which forced people to flee, breaking windows with chairs to escape the shooting. "There were people hiding in attics.It's a horrific scene in there".

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The sheriff's spokesman says the first reports of shots fired came around 11:20 p.m.at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, which is about 40 miles west of Los Angeles.

Other customers scrambled to find safety in other parts of the bar.

"A gentleman, who walked in through the front door, shot the girl that was right behind the counter", said Holden Harrah, who witnessed the shooting. California Highway Patrol was on scene within 3 minutes, with first officer to enter shot numerous times. "I don't know how I didn't get shot".

The gunman at the country dance bar was tall and wearing all black with a hood over his head and his face partly covered, witnesses told TV stations at the scene. A deputy sheriff is among the 11 people shot.

Mr Helus was a 29-year veteran of the force with a wife and son and planned to retire in the coming year, said the sheriff, who choked back tears several times as he talked about the sergeant who was also his long-time friend.

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