A gunman opened fire inside a California bar during an event for hundreds of college students, killing 12 people — including a sheriff’s sergeant — before he was found dead, officials said.
The NY Post reports,
The victims were shot after witnesses said the suspect tossed smoke grenades and began squeezing off shots at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed the fatalities. The gunman, who witnesses said was dressed in black and appeared to be wearing some sort of ski mask, was also dead.
Officials said hundreds of people, most of whom college students, were inside the establishment at the time of the shooting, according to KABC.
One witness saw the suspect tossing smoke bombs in front of the restaurant before watching a security guard get shot.
“I was at the front door and I was talking to my stepdad. I just started hearing these big pops,” the witness, John Hedge, told the local ABC affiliate. “I hit the ground. I look up — the security guard is dead. Well, I don’t want to say he was dead, but he was shot. He was down.”
Hedge said he managed to run out the front door as the shooter made his way to the back of the restaurant firing dozens of shots.