By Shelby Anderson
11/7/18 11:20p.m. Thousand Oaks, California
Borderline Bar & Grill: Wednesday “College Night”
Late Wednesday night a mysterious man dressed in all black entered the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California and opened fire on innocent victims that were just trying to have some fun. At Borderline Bar & Grill, a country dance club in Thousand Oaks, Wednesday night is always “College Night.” The bar was packed with both college students and adults. Parents are left in tears this morning in the wake of this surreal nightmare. They wait, unknowing of whether their son or daughter will return home. According to authorities 13 people are left dead, including the shooter, with over a dozen injuries reported. 11 of the 13 victims were patrons of the bar, and one was Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus of the Ventura County Sheriff’ Department. In a heartfelt statement to the public, Capt. Garo Kuredjian also of VCSD, Helus had planned to retire next month and had “died a hero” instead. Parents, siblings, and family members all mourn the loss of someone important to them in the wake of this disaster.
The shooting was reported at approximately 11:20pm. Victims who survived the shooting claim that the shooter was was wearing all black and had glasses on. Eye-witnesses also report that Long shot the security guard, entered the bar, shot a woman behind the bar, and then opened fire on everyone else. The shooter has now been identified as 28 year old Marine Veteran, Ian David Long. Authorities have released that there was one handgun involved in the shooting. The handgun was a .45 caliber Glock with an extended magazine, legally purchased by Long. Back in April, VCSD was called to Long’s home for a so-called disturbance. Ventura County Sheriff, Geoff Dean, recalls that Long was very irate and irrational. Ian Long served as a Marine Corporal from August of 2008 to March of 2013. Long was an Infantry Machine Gunner and instructor in Okinawa. He was deployed in Afghanistan from November of 2010 to June of 2011. A mental health specialist at the time of the first disturbance back in April, suggested that Long could be suffering with P.T.S.D; however, he was not committed under that specialist, and was ultimately medically cleared and free to go back to his normal life. According to Long’s friend (who preferred to remain anonymous) the vet was a happy and seemingly normal person, he had many friends, and was often an attendee at the Borderline Bar & Grill. His friend continued by saying, that he had been with Long to the bar many times, but had never expected any foul-play to come out of it. Law-enforcement have also found a Facebook post, linked to the time of the shooting, that they believe to be words written and posted by Ian Long. The same friend that commented on Long, also said that the post did not sound like something Long would have ever said, which only made him wonder what was going on in Long’s life that no one knew about. The gunman was found dead inside the bar by what sheriff’s believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
In the aftermath of this horrific incident, Californians are regrouping as best as they know how. Families are torn apart by the loss of their children, VCSD is mourning the loss of Sgt. Ron Helus, and the people who knew Long are left with many unanswered questions about his motives and what was going on in his head. Pepperdine University, a college in Malibu, California, is currently searching for students that were present at the bar during the time of the shooting, they hope to offer support and condolences to these students. Although the shooting is past, the tragedy is long from over and the healing process will remain for much longer. Nothing compares to the pain of losing a loved-one in such unimaginable circumstances. The next time you hear about a shooting on the news or some awful act of terrorism, take a moment to realize that these things can happen anywhere. Living in a small town does not make you immune to these tragedies. Always keep an open eye and an open mind and always report behavior that is out of the ordinary, you could possibly help prevent these things from happening, and save someone’s life, even your own. It is always better to be safe than sorry.