Terror struck patrons of a country music bar in what was supposed to be the third safest city in America, Thousand Oaks, California. The gunman has been identified as twenty-eight-year-old, former marine, Ian David Long. He killed eleven people inside the bar, before taking his own life.
Long was a former machine gunner that served in the Afghanistan war. He has had multiple run-ins with the law, including one where he was interviewed by police after multiple incidents of aggravated behavior. Neighbors often reported loud crashes and constant yelling from the home that Long shared with his mother.
There was even one instance in April where neighbors became so worried for the safety of Long’s mother during one particular argument that they called the police. A neighbor said that when the police encountered him, Long acted, “irate,” and,” a little irrationally”. A mental health specialist accessed Long’s behavior and mental state, then decided that he may be suf-fering from post-traumatic stress disorder but decided it was unnecessary to detain him at the time.
A former roommate said that Long was prone to unusual behavior like dancing alone in his garage, but he never seemed dangerous. Friends of Long said that he frequently attended the bar, “I would make fun of him, because he would drag me there sometimes we’d go there to have a drink, sit and talk, listen to music,” said a friend of Long. “I don’t know what the [heck] happened. He was always happy. I never thought this would ever come from him…He was a good guy.”
The Borderline Bar And Grill was one of the most popular restaurants in Thousand Oaks, so many people were in attendance when the shooter entered the bar. Witnesses said that Long shot the guard outside before entering the bar with a handgun, that had not been registered in which he proceeded to shoot the woman behind the counter before opening fire on others. “They ran out of back doors, they broke windows, they went through windows, they hid up in the attic, they hid in the bathroom,” Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said. “Unfor-tunately, our young people, people at nightclubs, have learned that this may happen. They think about that.”
During the massacre, Long posted to his Instagram account. The first post came at 11:24 pm saying, “It’s too bad I won’t get to see all the illogical and pathetic reasons people will put in my mouth as to why I did it. Fact is I had no reason to do it, and I just thought…. life is boring so why not?”.
Three minutes later, Long posted “I hope people call me insane would that just be a big ball of irony? Yeah… I’m insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is ‘hopes and prayers’…or ‘keep you in my thoughts. Every time… and wonder why these keep happening…”
Thirteen people were shot and killed that night, including Telemachus Orfanos, a Las Vegas massacre survivor.. The gunman was found dead inside the bar from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. As for the families of
the victims, Orfanos’ mother told reporters that she does not want “prayers” or “thoughts”, but she wants “gun control”. So far, in 2018, there have been 311 mass shootings. “It’s hard to sleep after these kinds of things,” Dani Merrill, a Las Vegas massacre survivor who was also at the Borderline Bar the night of the shooting. “You just don’t know how to feel.”
Information Provided by The New York Times, NBC, The Washington Post and CNN.