Thousand Oaks shooting marks 307th mass shooting in the US in 2018

Sahil Morar / November 8, 2018

Thousand Oaks police force honouring the life of Sergeant Ron Helus.
(Ventura County / Twitter)

Twelve people, including Ventura County Sergeant Ron Helus, were killed in another mass shooting last night at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. The suspect has been identified as 28 year-old Ian David Long, a former US Marine.

Police say Long entered the bar with a Glock 21, a .45 millimetre which is designed to hold up to 10 rounds. They also confirmed that Long had a magazine hand gun which is illegal to own in the state of California.

US President Donald Trump took to twitter to express his condolences and announce that the flag at the White House will be at half-mast.

However many feel that’s not enough. Neia Balao, a former Vancouverite now living in Los Angeles, said that she feels that her personal safety is on the line.

“Despite it having occurred in Thousand Oaks, it’s still just as chilling and shocking to hear about — LA is only about an hour away.  Thousand Oaks is known for being a safe, upper middle class neighbourhood — far safer than LA. And if it can happen there, it can 100% happen here. As a Canadian living in the US right now, I’ve noticed some clear differences — the most prominent of which being gun control (or lack thereof).  Since moving out here I have felt exponentially less safe, less trusting of those around me. It could’ve been anywhere, and it could’ve been anyone I knew, and it could’ve been me. Realizing that is tough.” – Neia Balao, Canadian ex-pat

During a press conference, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean spoke about the scene inside, saying it was “horrific with blood everywhere.”

The incident took place during Borderline’s regular “College Country Nights” which packs the bar with local students from around town, the closest university being Cal Lutheran University.

Sheriff Dean says when Helus got the incident call, he was on the phone with his wife. Helus ended the call with “Hey, I gotta go handle a call. I love you. I’ll talk to you later.” Dean says those were Helus’ last words to his wife.

Ron Helus, first responder in the Thousand Oaks mass shooting.
(Ventura County / Twitter)

With files from Matt Lawson.