Updated November 08, 2018 22:01:39
A gunman has shot and wounded 11 people — including a sheriff's deputy — in Southern California, using a handgun and smoke bombs at a country dance bar on student night.
The attack sent hundreds of panicking people toward the exits, with some breaking windows to escape, authorities and witnesses said.
The gunman was dead inside the bar, Ventura County Sheriff's Sergeant Eric Buschow said, but he did not say how he died.
Authorities had not confirmed how many of the injured died, but said there were "multiple fatalities".
Ventura County Sheriff's Captain Garo Kuredjian said hundreds of people were inside the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks at 11:20pm, and shots were still being fired when deputies arrived.
Several people from inside the bar told TV stations that a tall man wearing all black with a hood and his face partly covered first shot at a person working the door, then opened fire — seemingly at random — at the people inside.
People screamed and fled to all corners of the bar, while a few people threw barstools through the windows and helped dozens escape, witnesses said.
It was college night and country two-step lessons were being offered Wednesday at the Borderline, according to its website.
Captain Kuredjian said it has been "quite some time" since there was a shooting of any kind in Thousand Oaks, a city of about 130,000 people about 64 kilometres west of Los Angeles, just across the county line.
ABC7 Eyewitness News showed images of the bar surrounded by dozens of police vehicles, with victims being treated by paramedics.
There were reports of pools of blood in the area, and responders attending to one injured person outside the venue.
A witness described to ABC7 Eyewitness News hearing at least 12 shots before he escaped out the door, with a security guard down on the floor injured.
He said the man set off smoke grenades inside before opening fire.
Another witness said he saw a security guard being shot as well as a female cashier, before he also fled.
"It was just some lowlife taking lives he shouldn't be taking," he said.
"It was just young people having a great time and this maniac came in and started shooting people for no reason at all."
First posted November 08, 2018 19:15:48