12 people are dead at a bar and grill in Thousand Oaks, California, after a gunman opened fire Wednesday night.
Borderline Bar & Grill was hosting a college night when a 28-year-old man dressed in black and wearing dark sunglasses and a bandana, walked onto the packed dance floor.
In an interview with Fox News, Teylor Whittler, who is the daughter of a U.S. military veteran, said she saw the gunman shoot three people. Incredibly, the young woman kept her wits about her and noticed something interesting about the shooter.
“As soon as he walked in, he (the shooter) had perfect form. I was born into a military family and I’ve been around guns my entire life… I know a bit about them, and he (the shooter) looked like he knew what he was doing. He’d practiced.”
Whittler went on to say the gunman had a “… black semi-automatic pistol, it looked like it was a .40, but I couldn’t tell, I only took a glance at it.”
According to some reports, the gunman was a Marine Corps veteran and may have been suffering from PTSD. According to police he’d had multiple “Run-ins” with law enforcement officials in recent years.
Ms. Whittler said scenario discussions with her father played a big role in helping her through the situation.
“Growing up it was always a scenario we went over because of how times can be nowadays and how crazy people can be. And he (her father) always taught me ‘Drop everything, it doesn’t matter what you’re holding, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you drop anything (sic) and you take cover, you get out, you get safe’.”
John Hedge, who was at the bar with his stepfather told CNN:
“I started hearing these big pops. Pop, pop, pop. There was probably three or four, 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.”
The bar erupted into to panic and mass confusion with people piling on top of each other to get out of the room with the gunman.
Pepperdine University student government member Nick Steinwender confirmed some of his friends were at the bar when the shooting started.
“It was chaos, people jumping out of windows, hopping over gates and just trying to get out, what I heard, the gunman started shooting at the front desk. … Students were hiding in the attics, bathrooms and stuff like that.”
21-year-old Taylor Von Molt was on the dance floor when she,
“… heard what I thought was a balloon pop. I heard it a couple more times, and I turned around and I saw him (the shooter), He had … what looked like a bandanna on the bottom of his face, sunglasses, black hoodie, dark jeans.”
Von Molt then tried to run away but was caught in the stampede and knocked to the floor where she was trampled before finally being able to get up and run away. Between 10-15 other people were wounded in the attack.
Gunfire was still being heard inside the bar when police arrived on scene and charged into the building.
Among those first through the door was 29-year veteran, Sgt. Ron Helus. He was shot multiple times by the gunman and died of his wounds. He is survived by his wife and son and was planning to retire next year.
An emotional Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said during a press conference,
“Upon going through the front door, (Helus) was struck multiple times with gunfire. Ron … gave his all and tonight, he died a hero because he went in to save lives.”
A California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer pulled Helus out of the building and waited for back up to arrive.
When officers entered the building the second time, they discovered the shooter was dead.
Initial reports said there were smoke bombs used in the attack, but Sherriff Dean said so far, they have not found evidence of any type of bomb.
“We have called in our bomb team to go through and a couple of bomb dogs here that are checking the area,” Dean said.
Did you know that Armed Citizens are Successful 94% of the Time at Active Shooter Events according to this study?
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