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The gunman who shot and killed 12 people in a California bar, popular for live country music and packed with college students, has been identified as an Afghanistan war veteran serving in the Marine Corps, Ian David Long.
The 28-year old suspect entered the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California on Wednesday night before opening fire with a Glock 21 .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun – a popular model model in California – and reportedly throwing smoke bombs.
Twelve victims died, including a security guard outside the bar and a sheriff’s deputy who was among the first to respond to the shooting. Long was also found dead at the scene, with preliminary investigations indicating that he took his own life before SWAT team members stormed the building.
Ventura County identified the slain deputy as Sergeant Ron Helus. The first civilian victim identified so far is Cody Coffman, 22.
The bar is a popular hot spot for college students, with many attending the weekly college country music night hosted at the venue.
Little other information is known about Long, with police currently waiting on a warrant in order to search his house, where he is said to live with his mother.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean confirmed that Long was a veteran and that he had served with the United States Marine Corps.