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California bar shooting leaves 12 dead, including sheriff’s sergeant and deputy

A gunman opened fire overnight in a Southern California bar and country music venue. The Ventura County sheriff said the bar was crowded with more than 100 people, many of them college students.

The gunman, who hasn’t been identified “Middle Eastern’ appearance opens fire at bar in Thousand Oaks, California.

He killed 12 people, including a sheriff’s sergeantwho responded to the gunfire. Police later found the shooter dead inside the bar, possibly from a self-inflicted wound.

“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Dean said. “There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that.

“We don’t know who shot anybody at this point.”

A witness to the shootings, Taylor Von Molt, 21, who said she was a promotor at the bar, said the gunman wore a black mask with a bandana covering the bottom of his face, and a black hoodie.

The dead officer was identified as Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department, Dean told reporters. Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer were the first to arrive at the bar and went inside just before 11:30 p.m.

The rampage took place at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Authorities don’t yet have a motive for the shooting.

“I just started hearing these big pops. Pop pop pop,” he said. “There was probably three or four. I hit the ground. I look up. The security guard … was shot, he was down. The gunman was throwing smoke grenades all over the place. I saw him point to the back at the cash register and he just kept firing.”

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