13 Dead: Eleven Shot and Killed, Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Shot and Killed, Gunman Dead at Borderline Bar and Grill, Thousand Oaks, California

Ventura County Sheriff’s Office in Ventura County, California initially said a gunman shot and killed 11 people in a bar northwest of Los Angeles Wednesday night. Police say the gunman is dead.

Ventura County Sheriff’s police and Ventura County firefighter/paramedics responded about 11:20 p.m. Wednesday November 7, 2018 to multiple 911 calls of shots fired and a mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill, 99 Rolling Oaks Drive in Thousand Oaks, California. According to Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean, the first deputies arrived on scene at 11:22 p.m. PT. Some deputies were on a traffic stop nearby. The sheriff’s deputies made entry about 11:26 p.m. and this is when a Ventura County Sheriff’s sergeant was shot and killed. About 15 minutes later when no more shots were fired, deputies re-grouped and re-entered, finding people hiding in restrooms and attics. They found the male suspect dead with a gunshot wound.

Eleven victims in the bar were killed, a Ventura County Sheriff sergeant was killed, the gunman was dead, and about 10 other victims were injured.

In a 3:00 a.m. PT press conference, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters that a sergeant died at a hospital. The sergeant was identified as Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran that was a year from retiring.

CBS News: Press conference (3:00 a.m. PT) with Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean regarding a mass shooting that resulted in 13 dead (including shooter) at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California

Sheriff’s Capt. Garo Kuredjian and Sheriff Geoff Dean both said overnight that deputies could hear gunfire when they arrived. Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran — a year away from retiring — was shot and killed immediately upon entering the Borderline Bar & Grill to engage with the shooter. Sgt. Helus died at the hospital about 2:00 a.m. PT. There were hundreds of people in the bar when the shooting attack began.

Witnesses reported that the male suspect, possibly in his 30s, threw smoke bombs when he entered, likely to cause confusion and function as a defensive move to make it difficult for any possible defenders to target him. The male suspect also shot the nightclub’s security guard near the front door. Witnesses said some people broke windows to evacuate the bar.

Sheriff Dean said that initially there was nothing known about the suspect. Dean also said the scene was horrific with blood everywhere.

With early assessment of the scene, investigators believe the shooter fired approximately 30 shots. Police say one handgun was found, but at least one witness reported that he thought he saw a sub-machine gun type weapon with a long cartridge. The witness added that the weapon could have been a handgun with a long cartridge. Another witness, Teylor Whittler, who said she come from a military family with gun experience, said she thought the weapon might have been a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun.

The Borderline Bar and Grill is known as a popular country-western dance club that is popular with college students. The bar’s website, had posted that a “College Country” night was scheduled for Wednesday night. The building is about 160 feet by 80 feet or 12,800 square feet.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Office provides police services for are Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, and Thousand Oaks. Sheriff Dean is the 19th sheriff for Ventura County, and is retiring this week as Sheriff-Elect Bill Ayub is set to begin his term as Sheriff on November 10, 2018.

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