Mass Shootings

Police Probe Motive in Southern California Bar Massacre

from The Wall Street Journal,

Gunman, who was visited by authorities in April, was confirmed dead after attack at the popular Borderline Bar & Grill.

Shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday, a 28-year-old Marine Corps veteran strode up to the front entrance of a country music bar in this Los Angeles suburb that was hosting its weekly college dance party. As more than a hundred people sipped drinks and took line dancing lessons inside, Ian David Long, bearded and dressed in black, took out a .45 caliber pistol equipped with an extended magazine and shot the bouncer. Entering the door, he shot several more employees including a cashier while hurling a smoke bomb, witnesses told investigators. Then he turned his handgun on the crowd.

In a matter of minutes, 12 people were killed, according to authorities. Long was later found dead inside the building, having apparently shot himself.

The bloodshed in this city 30 miles west of Los Angeles, which had only two homicides in all of 2017, came less than two weeks after a man shot and killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue. From Las Vegas to Parkland, Fla., Pittsburgh to Santa Fe, Texas, the nation has been shaken by the frequency of mass shootings over the past two years. The Federal Bureau of Investigation says 30 active-shooter incidents in 2017 left in 138 people dead—both the highest totals since the FBI began keeping track in 2000. The FBI defines an active shooter as someone actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.

In an eerie echo of recent mass shootings, a group of survivors of the massacre at a country music festival in Las Vegas last year would meet at the bar in Thousand Oaks, encouraged to wear gear to mark surviving that attack. The bar had hosted benefit concerts for survivors and a vigil commemorating six months since that shooting.

It was unclear why Long targeted the bar, which had invited students from local universities including Pepperdine, California Lutheran and Moorpark College, according to an attorney for the owner of the establishment.

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