'Multiple injuries' in California bar shooting: Fire department

'Multiple injuries' in California bar shooting: Fire department

At least 12 people were killed when a gunman walked into Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, threw smoke bombs and opened fire.

Twelve people were killed when a gunman opened fire on a crowd at a country dance bar holding a weekly "college night" Wednesday in Southern California, sending hundreds fleeing in terror including some who used barstools to break windows and escape, authorities said.

People comfort each other as they stand near the scene in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where a gunman opened fire Wednesday inside a country dance bar crowded with hundreds of people November 8, 2018.

Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, a veteran of 29 years, arrived first on the scene and immediately entered the bar with a patrolman after hearing gunfire. He died at the hospital.

A police officer, described as a sheriff's sergeant, and the gunman are among the 13 confirmed to have died.

People "dog-piled on top of each other" trying to hide in silence, she said.

"I never thought I would see the things around the country that would happen, but I've learned that it doesn't matter what community you're in, it doesn't matter how safe your community is - it can happen anywhere", Sheriff Geoff Dean said during a press conference.

He said he and others smashed their way out of the bar onto a balcony and then jumped down to safety. It also came less than two weeks after a gunman massacred 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Police said he killed himself.

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ABC Reporter Marc Brown said: "We are hearing that some of the people who were at Borderline, were also at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, scene of the worst mass shooting in modern United States history".

Gina Silva and Gigi Graciette reported from Thousand Oaks, Calif. Lisa Fernandez wrote from Oakland, Calif.

They survived the deadliest mass shooting in recent US history just over one year ago.

Holden Harrah, a young man who saw the incident, cried as he told CNN that a place where he goes every week to have fun with friends had been a scene of carnage.

"Within a split second, everybody yelled 'get down, ' " she said.

"This is a very close-knit community", Kuredjian said, adding that Thousand Oaks - north and west of Los Angeles - is a "pro-law-enforcement community" as well. A reporter spoke to a man who had not heard from his son.

Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer responded in minutes. "They would go fishing up in the Sierras together". Whitler said then she heard "Get up, he's coming!" and people trampled on each other to get out.

"It's my understanding they went in and neutralized the shooter (and) they identified a number of causalities".

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