Possibly he was bullied over a “lazy eye” condition and was getting revenge on the aggressors. Possibly in some twisted way he was raising the issue of gun control. And possibly it was just an individual being overwhelmed by PTSD.
Authorities continue investigating the motive behind the shooting rampage by Ian Long, 28, at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, California, late Wednesday night.
They may never know the truth, but the deaths of the 12 people Long shot are being used already by gun control activists. One victim’s family member said bluntly she didn’t want any more “prayers,” she just wanted gun control.
Long, a former Marine who neighbors say was plagued with PTSD and terrified his own mother, opened fire at the Borderline Bar and Grill after throwing smoke bombs into the facility.
He used a Glock .45 with an extended magazine to kill 11 people inside the bar, Sean Adler, 48; Cody Coffman 22; Blake Dingman, 23; Jake Dunham, 21; Alaina Housley, 18; Justin Meek, 23; Daniel Manrique; Kristina Morisette; Telemachus Orfanos; and Noel Sparks.
Long then shot sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, a 54-year-old, 29-year veteran who was one of the first on the scene.
TMZ reported Friday that he apparently was posting items on Instagram while the shooting was happening.
“Our sources say investigators discovered the messages on Long’s page several hours after the shooting and contacted Instagram to delete his page. We don’t know precisely what he was saying, but it appears he had a grudge he was carrying out.”
One possibility was that he resented comments from classmates and others about a “lazy eye” condition he experienced for a time.
Another suggestion was that he was creating an issue for gun control advocates by his actions.
A report at the Daily Caller said authorities were attributing to Long a Facebook posting that said: “I hope people call me insane… (laughing emojis).. wouldn’t that just be a big ball of irony? Yeah.. I’m insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is ‘hopes and prayers’.. or ‘keep you in my thoughts’… every time… and wonder why these keep happening…”
NBC News reported Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said several hundred people were at the bar for a “college country night” when the shooting happened.
He explained the gunman first shot a security guard standing outside, then “stepped inside, turned to the right, shot several other security and employees and began opening fire inside the nightclub.”
Authorities were searching the shooter’s home.
They revealed his history of run-ins with police, including in April when “deputies were called to his house after reports of a disturbance, and they found Long to be ‘somewhat irate,’ and ‘acting a little irrationally.'”
One officer said his social media, accessed through his cell phone, consisted of rantings.
Ten to 12 people suffered injuries of varying severity, with others with more minor wounds escaping and taking themselves to the hospital, Dean added.
Shooting survivor Holden Harrah said in an interview with MSNBC she feels “very lucky to be here. Very, very lucky to be on my two feet.”
According to the London Daily Mail, some patrons escaped by throwing bar stools through windows and jumping out.
Others hid in attics, closets and under tables.
The shooter’s body was found in an office later. He apparently committed suicide.
Long was in the Marines from 2008 to 2013 and toured Afghanistan, earning 10 medals.
He was awarded two Navy Meritorious Unit Commendations, a Combat Action Ribbon, a Good Conduct Medal, an Afghanistan Campaign Medal, a National Defense Service Medal and others while in the service before he was discharged in 2013.
He later went to college but eventually dropped out.
The Daily Mail said a neighbor, Richard Berge, 77, confirmed Long’s mother feared he would injure himself, and the community was concerned he suffered from PTSD.
NBC News said the .45-caliber Glock handgun had been purchased legally but had had its magazine modified to hold more ammunition.