UPDATED 6:04 AM PST — Thurs. Nov. 8, 2018
At least 12 people and an alleged gunman are dead following a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California.
The incident began around 11:20 PM local time Wednesday at the Borderline Bar and Grill during a college country night celebration, which was open to students 18-years and older.
When authorities entered the bar they found the gunman actively shooting. The suspect then opened fire on authorities and fatally shot Sheriff Sergeant Ron Helus.
The bodies of 11 victims and the suspect were later discovered inside the bar. More than a dozen others are also reported to be injured and have been transported to local hospitals.
Witnesses initially described the gunman as a male of Middle Eastern decent, wearing glasses, a black trench coat, and wielding a single handgun.
One witness described the incident.
“I was at the front door and I was talking to my stepdad. I just started hearing these big pops. Pop, pop, pop. There was probably three or four, I hit the ground. I look up — the security guard is dead. Well, I don’t want to say he was dead, but he was shot. He was down. 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.” — John Hedge, witness
An investigation into the incident is ongoing, but officials believe it was a planned attack as the suspect allegedly set off smoke devices.
President Trump has been fully briefed on the shooting.
In a tweet Thursday morning, he said great bravery was shown by police and the California Highway Patrol was on the scene within three minutes. He went on to say, “God bless all the victims and their families” and thanked law enforcement.