Yahoo! News Photo Staff

Deadly shooting at country dance bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

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Using a smoke bomb and a handgun, a hooded Marine combat veteran dressed all in black opened fire during college night at a country music bar in Southern California, killing 12 people and sending hundreds fleeing in terror before apparently taking his own life, authorities said Thursday.

Authorities said the motive for the attack Wednesday night was under investigation.

The killer was identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a former machine gunner and veteran of the war in Afghanistan who was interviewed by police at his home last spring after an episode of agitated behavior that they were told might be post-traumatic stress disorder.

The dead included 11 people inside the bar and a veteran sheriff’s sergeant who was the first officer inside the door, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.(AP)

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The body of Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, who was shot and killed in a mass shooting at a bar is transferred to a hearse for procession from the Los Robles Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo: Ringo Chiu/Reuters)


This undated photo provided by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department shows Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in a deadly shooting at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Ventura County Sheriff’s Department via AP)


A law enforcement motorcade, providing an escort for a hearse carrying the body of Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, makes its way northbound on Highway 101 Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, in Newbury Park, Calif. Helus was fatally shot while responding to a mass shooting at a country music bar in Southern California. (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)


Madison Fuller of Thousand Oaks reacts as she watches from an overpass as a procession for the body of Sergeant Ron Helus, who died in a shooting incident at a Thousand Oaks bar, drives down Ventura Highway 101 in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters)


Grieving people are led into the Thousand Oaks Teen Center where families have gathered after a deadly shooting at a bar on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Richard Vogel/AP)


Police and FBI officers wait outside the home of the suspect in a shooting incident at a Thousand Oaks bar, in Newbury Park, Calif., Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters)


Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies stand outside the house of shooting suspect David Ian Long in Newbury Park, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo: Richard Vogel/AP)


Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean speaks to reporters near the scene in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, where a gunman opened fire the previous night inside a country dance bar crowded with hundreds of people. (Photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP)


Members of FBI investigate the site of a mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Cali., Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo:Ringo Chiu/Reuters)


A man holds his head in his hands outside the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Nov. 8, 2018 where multiple people were killed. (Photo: Mike Nelson/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)


Nellie Wong cries as Chyann Worrell holds her and Erika Sigman (R) were all inside when shooting started inside the Borderline Bar & Grill when a shooter killed multiple people Wednesday night on Nov. 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Police work in the area after a gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a Thousand Oaks bar packed with hundreds of people attending a popular event for college students, causing multiple fatalities on Nov. 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Jason Coffman displays a photo of his son Cody outside the Thousands Oaks Teene Center where he came hoping to find his son who was at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)


A man speaks with law enforcement personnel as people stand along South Moorpark Road after a gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a Thousand Oaks bar packed with hundreds of people attending a popular event for college students, causing multiple fatalities on Nov. 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


A forensics team works the scene Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. where a gunman opened fire Wednesday inside a country dance bar crowded with hundreds of people on “college night,” killing multiple people including a deputy who rushed to the scene. Ventura County sheriff’s spokesman says gunman is dead inside the bar. (Photo/Mark J. Terrill/AP)


Witnesses console each other near the Borderline Bar & Grill after a shooter killed and wounded multiple people Wednesday night on Nov. 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Police work in the area after a gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a Thousand Oaks bar packed with hundreds of people attending a popular event for college students, causing multiple fatalities on Nov. 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


People leave the scene after a shooter wounded seven Wednesday night on Nov. 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


FBI setup for investigation at the Borderline and its parking lot after a gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a Thousand Oaks bar packed with hundreds of people attending a popular event for college students, causing multiple fatalities on Nov. 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


A man speaks with law enforcement personnel as people stand along South Moorpark Road after a gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a Thousand Oaks bar packed with hundreds of people attending a popular event for college students, causing multiple fatalities on Nov. 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


People stand in a gas station parking lot along South Moorpark Road after a gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a Thousand Oaks bar packed with hundreds of people attending a popular event for college students, causing multiple fatalities on Nov. 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Police officer surveys the area around Borderline Bar & Grill after a shooter killed multiple people Wednesday night on Nov. 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


An American Red Cross Disaster Relief vehicle is seen outside the Thousands Oaks Teen Center where people have come for family assistance following the bar shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)


An FBI agent talks to a potential witness as they stand near the scene Thursday in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where a gunman opened fire on Nov. 7, 2018, inside a country dance bar crowded with hundreds of people on “college night,” killing multiple people including a deputy who rushed to the scene. Ventura County sheriff’s spokesman says gunman is dead inside the bar. (Photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP)


People stand in a parking lot along South Moorpark Road in the aftermath of a mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill after a gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a Thousand Oaks bar packed with hundreds of people attending a popular event for college students, causing multiple fatalities on Nov. 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Law enforcement officers secure the road leading to the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., after a deadly shooting on Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo: Mike Nelson/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)


People comfort each other as they stand near the scene on Nov. 8, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. where a gunman opened fire Wednesday inside a country dance bar crowded with hundreds of people on “college night.” (Photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP)


People comfort each other as they sit near the scene on Nov. 8, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where a gunman opened fire Wednesday inside a country dance bar crowded with hundreds of people on “college night.” (Photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP)



In this image taken from video a victim is treated near the scene of a shooting, Wednesday evening, Nov. 7, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: RMG News via AP)


Matt Wennerstorm, who has blood on his shirt, talks to the media outside the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Nov. 8, 2018, after a deadly shooting. (Photo: Mike Nelson/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)


In this image taken from video a victim is carried from the scene of a shooting, Wednesday evening, Nov. 7, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: RMG News via AP)


In this image taken from video a victim is treated near the scene of a shooting, Wednesday evening, Nov. 7, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: RMG News via AP)


People comfort each other Thursday near the scene in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where a gunman opened fire Wednesday inside a country dance bar crowded with hundreds of people on “college night,” killing and wounding people including a deputy who rushed to the scene on Nov. 7, 2018. Ventura County sheriff’s spokesman says gunman is dead inside the bar. (Photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP)


Law enforcement officers secure the road leading to the Borderline Bar & Grill where a gunman killed and injured people in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo: Mike Nelson/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)


Teylor Whittler (L) and friends who fled the Borderline Bar & Grill are interviewed in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo: Mike Nelson/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)


Friends of people at the Borderline Bar & Grill where a gunman 12 people were killed wait to hear news about their friends in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Nov. 8, 2018. Thirteen people were killed. (Photo: Mike Nelson/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)


People comfort each other after a mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo: Ringo Chiu/Reuters)


People watch from the intersection of US 101 freeway and the Moorpark Rad exit as police close off the area outside a country music bar and dance hall in Thousand Oaks, west of Los Angeles, where a gunman opened fire late Nov. 7, 2018, killing at least 12 people, police said. (Photo: Frederic J. Brown/ AFP/Getty Images)


First responders are seen outside Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Nov. 7, 2018, in this image obtained from social media on Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo: Thomas Gorden/via Reuters)