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Authorities identify California bar shooter as 28-year-old former Marine Ian David Long

Authorities identify California bar shooter as 28-year-old former Marine Ian David Long
Authorities have identified the shooter accused of gunning down 12 people at popular California college bar as former Marine Ian David Long. (Handout)

Authorities have identified the shooter accused of gunning down 12 people at a popular California college bar as former Marine Ian David Long.

Officers found the 28-year-old suspect dead inside Borderline Bar & Grill late Wednesday night after the bloody attack. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said the gunman used a legally purchased .45 caliber Glock — modified with an extended magazine — to carry out the mass shooting.

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“We don’t know how many rounds were in the weapon,” Dean said during a press conference late Thursday morning. “Witnesses are still being interviewed.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department has had several interactions with Long in the past, including an April call to his Newbury Park home, where authorities found him acting irate and irrational. A crisis mental team also responded, but concluded that he did not need to be taken into custody.

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According to Department of Defense records, Long was on active duty with the US Marine Corps from August 2008 to March 2013. He reportedly shared information about his military service on a special forces forum called Shadowspear.

In a March 2017 post uncovered by CNN, Long said he served in Afghanistan as an infantry machine gunner and was an instructor in Okinawa.

“I was honorably discharged in 2013. I am graduating with a B.S. in Athletic training in two months,” he wrote. “Maybe the ego got the better of me but it took only one time for a 19 year old D-2 athlete to talk down to me and tell me how to do my job that I realized this wasn’t the career I wanted to head.”

Dean said it’s possible the suspected gunman had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

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In the neighborhood where Long lived, residents said they were all aware the former Marine struggled with mental health issues.

Neighbor Donald MacLeod said the suspect lived with his mom and would often curse at her, throw tools and explode in anger.

“He was very aggressive. There were threats of violence, more than once,” MacLeod, who lives directly behind Long’s house in Newbury Park, told the Daily News.

MacLeod, 79, said he believed Long kept a firearm in the house after hearing a gunshot during a loud fight about 18 months ago.

“The argument was going on a good ten to 15 minutes. It amplified up, up and up with a couple of door slams in between,” he said. “All of a sudden, I heard a gunshot. I told my wife, ‘Leave the lights out, don’t go near the back wall, a bullet can go through the stucco,’” MacLeod said.

The retired firefighter from Scotland said he quietly crept into his yard to better determine what was going on over the fence.

He said all of a sudden, “their lights went all off and the dogs just shut up, and everything went quiet.”

He also recalled the incident in April.

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“It was arguing, a lot of shouting,” he said. “When the police came by, they didn’t go straight in. I think he might have barricaded himself. Reinforcements came and they closed the street off.”

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Scenes from the California bar shooting

California State University Northridge President Dianne Harrison confirmed Long was a student at the school until 2016.

“Oh behalf of California State University, Northridge, our hearts and thoughts are with the victims, survivors, first responders, and loved ones affected by the horrific massacre that occurred in Thousand Oaks last night,” Harrison said in a statement.

“As members of the Matador family, I ask that our campus come together and support one another during this troubling time.”

The bearded man, who was also heavily tattooed, was wearing a black hat, glasses and a black shirt when he burst into the popular college hangout, where he allegedly threw several smoke bombs before he opened fire. Sources told the Times Long drove his mother’s car to Thousand Oaks bar, at the time hosting its weekly “Country College” night.

Pepperdine University, located about a half hour away from the site of shooting confirmed students were at the club when the gunfire kicked off. Borderline Bar & Grill is also close to several other schools, including California Lutheran University and Moorpark College.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year-veteran with the department, responded to the shooting around 11 p.m. along with a member of the California Highway patrol. Dean said the sergeant was struck several times during an exchange of gunfire with the suspect.

Helus, who intended to retire next year, died from his injuries at a nearby hospital.

“We don’t have details to confirm an exact chronology about what happened. We’ll provide that to you as we bring all our witness statements together and we feel more comfortable talking about that,” Dean told reporters. “We have no idea what the motive was at this point.”

The sheriff added that while the attack did appear to be planned, there was no evidence to suggest he was targeting certain people inside the bar.

Investigators have already secured Long’s home and are combing it for evidence they hope will provide them additional insight into the deadly incident.

Authorities have not yet identified any of the other 11 people killed in the attack. One other person suffered a gunshot wound and as many as 15 others suffered a range of minor injuries.

With News Wire Services

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