A popular country-and-Western restaurant called Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles from Los Angeles, was hosting their weekly college night on Wednesday when a black-clad shooter hurled smoke bombs into the Borderline Bar & Grill as he fired a fusillade of shots about 11:20 p.m.
“I just started hearing these big pops – pop, pop, pop. There was probably three or four,” one unidentified young man told local television station KABC. “The security guard…was down. And the gunman was throwing smoke grenades all over the place. I saw him point to the back of the cash register, and he just kept firing. I ran out the front door. I hear chairs being thrown out the window. People were trying to get out the window.…There were probably 12 shots before I got out the front door.”
Another witness says the gunman wielded what appeared to be a sub-machine gun. He was described to be a bearded man wearing a black jacket, hat, and glasses.
Shots were still being fired when police arrived on the scene. Accompanied by a California Highway Patrol officer, Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus entered the restaurant through the front door and “was struck multiple times with gunfire,” Dean said.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean says the investigation is still ongoing although there weren’t any indications of preliminary indications the attack was terrorist-related.
This was the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than two weeks. On Oct. 27, a gunman killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.