At least 12 people dead in a California bar shooting; gunman dies

Emergency services at the scene. Pic

Ventura County sheriff's Sgt. Eric Buschow did not say how the gunman died.

Officials said shots were still being fired when the first officers arrived at the scene. "I just wanted to get down as soon as I heard the first shot go off".

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

The shooter reportedly stormed into the venue wearing a black trench coat, armed with smoke grenades and a firearm with a high-capacity magazine. Dean says Helus was his longtime friend and gym partner and planned to retire soon after 29 years with the force. However, Wednesday's tragedy is the 308th mass shooting - defined as a shooting in which three people or more are injured or killed, by gunfire or while escaping - so far this year.

"I have nothing to believe there is any terrorism link but we will certainly look at that option", he said.

"I tried to get as many people to cover as I could", Knapp said. Because it was the bars' weekly College Country Night, many of Ian's victims were students of Pepperdine University. "I'm sorry for their loss", said the tearful father as he stood next to his father-in-law Mike Johnston.

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Kuredjian said the shooter no longer posed a threat to surrounding communities, but could not confirm if he was shot dead or captured.

The 23-year-old was a recent graduate of California Lutheran University, and "heroically saved lives in the incident", according to the university's president, Chris Kimball.

He said that there are at least "six victims including one deputy" who are still inside the bar.

It was the latest chapter in America's epidemic of gun violence.

"Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff's sergeant who was totally committed", Dean said, choking back a few tears and clearing his throat. People dropped to the floor and hid behind bar stools in stunned silence.

A police officer is among the wounded in the mass shooting at the Borderline bar in the city of Thousand Oaks near Los Angeles, reports say.

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UPDATE 6:30 a.m.

In the last two weeks alone, a man shot dead two people yoga studio in Florida, and another gunman opened fire on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11.

He said he flagged down a nearby police officer and screamed "There's a shooter in there!". The 28-year-old was on active duty with the marines from August 2008 to March 2013, CNN reported, citing the Department of Defense.

People comfort each other after the shootings in Thousand Oaks, California, about 40 miles west of Los Angeles.

Sheriff Geoff Dean of Ventura Co.

Its website listed Wednesday's event as college country night between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.

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