A shootout at a nightclub bar in a northern Los Angeles town killed several people on Wednesday night, including the gunman. The man burst into the Borderline Bar and Grill, a place that hosted a student night at the time of the drama in which “several hundred” young people were to take part, according to a local police officer.
The Sheriff of Ventura County, Geoff Dean, said at a news conference attended by AFP that twelve people were killed in the shootings, including a police officer on the scene. The shooter also died, he added, adding that he did not count it among the victims.
An indeterminate number of wounded
At 3:00 am local time, the balance sheet also included an indeterminate number of wounded admitted to several hospitals in the region, he said. The sheriff could not specify at this point whether the shooter was shot by the police or if he had returned his gun against him.
The identity of the gunman and his motives were also undetermined, but several witnesses in the Borderline Bar and Grill described a “man in a black coat”, “bearded” and holding a large calibre handgun. An unidentified witness quoted by the Los Angeles Times reported that a man entered the bar around 11:30 pm and started shooting with a “black gun“.
A smoke grenade
“He shot a lot, at least thirty times, I still heard gunshots when everyone had left the bar,” said the witness quoted by the LA Times. Other witnesses said the gunman threw a smoke grenade. According to one of them, interviewed by CNN television but visibly in shock, the shooter entered the main door of the bar, firing on a vigil, then a young woman holding the reception desk.
Most of the witnesses quoted by the American media, mostly students from the many universities in this residential suburb of Los Angeles, described scenes of panic after the first shots were fired.