At Least 12 Killed At California Bar Shooting

At least 12 people have been killed, including a police officer, at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California.

The shooting began at 23:20 local time on Wednesday about 40 miles (65km) north-west of Los Angeles, police say.

At least 200 people were reportedly inside the Borderline Bar and Grill at the time of the attack.

Officials say the suspect was found dead inside and have not identified him. They do not yet know his motive for the shooting.

How did the shooting occur?

A college country music night was under way when the suspect, apparently dressed in black, entered the bar and opened fire.

Reports say the suspect may have used smoke grenades and at least one weapon, described as a semi-automatic handgun by witnesses.

A injured man told local television channel KTLA: “We just dropped to the ground, we heard a lot of screaming. My friend is the DJ so she cut off the music, we just heard a lot of mayhem.”

Young girls stand by police

Another witness from inside, Teylor Whittler, said: “I was on the dance floor and I heard the gunshots, so I looked back and then all of a sudden everyone screamed: Get Down!”

“It was a huge panic, everyone got up, I was trampled, I was kind of left on the floor until some guy came behind me and grabbed me and dragged me out.”

People reportedly escaped the bar by using chairs to break windows, while others reportedly sheltered inside the venue’s toilets.

What have police said?

Ventura County Sherriff Geoff Dean described the scene inside the bar as “horrific” and said there was “blood everywhere”.

He said first responders had arrived just three minutes after the first emergency calls from the venue were made.

Ventura Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, who later died in hospital, had tried to enter the active scene with a local highway patrolman when he was shot several times.

The husband and father-of-one had been a policeman for 29 years and was due to retire next year.

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