At least 12 people have been killed in a mass shooting at a California bar packed with college students, US authorities have said.
According to witnesses, the gunman opened fire immediately after walking into the Borderline Bar and Grill, in Thousand Oaks, at about 11.20pm local time (7.20am GMT) on Tuesday. Police said a further ten to 15 people were injured, reports CNN.
Among those killed was Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, who was planning to retire next year. The gunman is also believed to be dead, Ventura County sheriff Sergeant Eric Bradsha told ABC7 Eyewitness News
We have sent patrol and SWAT resources to assist with the incident in Thousand Oaks. We will continue to monitor and provide whatever resources are requested. Please keep the victims in your thoughts & prayers.
— Oxnard Police Dept. (@OxnardPD1903) November 8, 2018
The bar, about 40 miles outside Los Angeles, is popular with students at Pepperdine University, in Malibu, and the nearby California Lutheran University.
Multiple Pepperdine students were at the bar at the time of the shooting, according to the university’s official Twitter account.
The venue was hosting a country music-themed college event when the shooting occurred. Captain Garo Kuredjian told a press conference today that “hundreds” of people were on the dance floor and at the bar when the gunman burst in.
Witness John Hedge said the attacker “was throwing smoke grenades all over the place”.
These women escaped the Borderline bar shooting Wednesday night in Thousand Oaks pic.twitter.com/xA4PenRT0f
— Alene Tchekmedyian (@AleneTchek) November 8, 2018
Another witness told CNN: “It was chaos, people jumping out of windows, hopping over gates and just trying to get out.”
No information has yet been released about the shooter. FBI investigators are reported to be at the scene alongside police.