Thousand Oaks Shooting: Gunman Is Dead, Police Confirm

Authorities responded to a report of an active shooter at a Thousand Oaks nightclub

Authorities responded to a report of an active shooter at a Thousand Oaks nightclub

Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office who was about to retire, is survived by his wife and his son.

"I really don't know what to say other than I love this girl with all my heart and I'd give my life right now for a miracle", Adam Housley wrote on Facebook earlier in the day.

Authorities have identified the suspect who killed 12 people at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., as 28-year-old Ian David Long. It's unclear whether he took his own life or if the attack was terror-related.

Novaks said that Helus went into the building with "no idea" what to expect - only knowing he wanted to help those inside. Dean said there was "blood everywhere" inside the bar.

John Hedge, who was at the bar with his stepfather, told CNN affiliate KABC that he hit the ground after hearing three or four popping sounds.

"It's just kind of unbelievable that somebody would want to come to a place I care about and hurt people that I care about".

"I can't tell you much about the shooter at this point", Kuredjian said.

Gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire through the windows of his suite at the Mandalay Bay hotel which overlooked the open air concert.

The suspect, who was armed with a.45-caliber handgun, was found deceased at the Borderline Bar and Grill, the scene of the shooting in the city of Thousand Oaks northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

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The gunfire started during line dancing, witnesses said. People dropped to the floor and hid behind bar stools in stunned silence. He said responding deputies could hear gunshots as they arrived on scene. The alleged perpetrator then threw smoke bombs into the bar and continued shooting. But Dean said the gun had an extended magazine that is illegal in California.

The bar is a few miles from California Lutheran University and is a popular spot for students. The Western-style bar hosts theme nights such as country, salsa and swing dancing.

According to the bar's website, a "College Country" night was going on at the time of the shooting.

A man who says he was in the bar told ABC news that he saw a man shoot into the crowd of customers - many of whom said to be students.

"[He] said to her, 'Hey I got to go handle a call".

He said he heard from people inside that they were hiding in toilets and the attic of the bar.

"It was chaos, people jumping out of windows, people hopping over gates to get out" Mr Steinwender told KABC.

Authorities say they found a handgun at the scene.

"The University offers its deepest condolences and is praying for everyone involved in tonight's tragic events", it tweeted.

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