Mass shooting at California dance bar

Mass shooting at bar in Thousand Oaks CA dozens reportedly injured incl police officer

The police officer who was shot and killed was identified as Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, who was labelled a "hero" for attempting to stop the incident.

The president of California State University, Northridge, said in a statement that Long was a former student at the school, most recently in 2016.

"We can confirm that there are several people that have been injured inside the bar and grill, including one deputy sheriff that was transported" to a local hospital, he said.

The sheriff said the gunman has not been identified and there was no known motive for the shooting.

Authorities say they don't know if there is a terrorism link to the shooting.

The bar was holding its regular "College Country Nights" on Wednesday night when the gunman dressed in black opened fire inside the bar.

When deputies arrived at the scene three minutes after the first 911 call, shots were still being fired, Dean said.

"Before it happened it was just a normal Wednesday night, just having a good time and as soon as it all started, it just went to utter chaos real quick", Cole Knapp said. "The security guard...was down".

Long served in the Marines from August 2008 until March 2013.

Here's what we know about the victims of the attack.

Dean said police had previous run-ins with Long, including a call to his home where he was acting irrationally. Although the cops called in a mental health specialist to assess Ian, they ultimately decided not to have him committed involuntarily.

Sheriff Dean added Long obtained the murder weapon - a Glock 21.45 calibre handgun - legally, but the weapon had an illegal magazine extension. "We believe he shot himself".

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"I am very emotional right now", he said.

A woman in the background added: "He was kind of a loner". Dean said Helus undoubtedly saved lives by going in to confront the gunman.

"The fact that he was the first in the door doesn't surprise me at all", Sheriff's Sergeant Eric Buschow said.

Helus, 54, had been at the department for almost three decades and planned to retire within the next year, the sheriff said, choking back tears.

"He was just a great guy, a gentle soul", he said.

When authorities entered the bar later, they found Long dead inside an office next to the entrance. "Just an awesome investigator".

Civilians and other deputies pulled Sergeant Helus from the bar.

Breaking news update: Thirteen people have been pronounced dead, including a police officer and the gunman, after a shooting took place at a country bar in Southern California on Wednesday.

Dean said a mother recalled that the cops stood in front of her daughter to shield her from the gunfire. "I'll talk to you later, '" he told reporters.

"He ran in and no doubt saved others", Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Garo Kuredjian told CNN afterward.

Mr Dean said around 10 other people were shot and wounded.

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