Police Officer Among 13 Dead In Bar Shooting In Thousand Oaks, California

Emergency services at the scene

He was later found dead at or near an office in the business.

Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, the first officer to enter the Borderline Bar & Grill, was met by deadly gunfire, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said during a news conference. Dean also said they responded to an incident at his home in April.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that authorities had identified the gunman. The gunman was throwing smoke grenades all over the place.

Authorities urged the public to avoid the area.

The suspect was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, having served from 2008 to 2013.

Less than two weeks after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that killed 11, another mass shooting has taken a dozen lives in California. That, it turn, closely followed the series of pipe bombs mailed to critics of President Donald Trump.

His Facebook profile is full of photos of the officer and his son hunting, fishing, hill-walking and playing with their dog together. Helus died at the hospital Thursday morning.

"I'm a Thousand Oaks resident", 19-year-old Erika Sigman said, according to the LA Times.

The shooting happened on college night.

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An unknown number of people were wounded after the shooting at the bar, a popular venue with college students and local young adults for parties and dancing. California Lutheran University, private Christian school Pepperdine University and California State University Channel Islands confirmed several of their students were at the country music event. "I'm sorry for their loss", said the tearful father as he stood next to his father-in-law Mike Johnston. "But I've learned, it doesn't matter what community you're in, it doesn't matter how safe your community is".

"The first thing I said was "Please don't drink and drive.' The last thing I said was 'Son, I love you", Mr Coffman told reporters.

Other witnesses described seeing and hearing people smashing windows with barstools to create escape routes from the bar. Active law enforcement incident. He heard of Helus's death when scrolling through Facebook and seeing multiple posts of a Ventura County Sheriff's badge with a black band over it, the sign of a fallen officer.

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

"People started running to the back door", she said. "I just want him to know that he's going to be missed. Get out! Let's go!'" she added.

He said a highway patrol officer was nearby who just happened to be pulling someone over.

Mr Coffman said that Cody was preparing to join the US Army. He said he had friends who hadn't been accounted for.

Taylor Von Molt, 21, told CNN that the shooter was wearing what looked like a bandana and a hoodie and was a burly man.

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