California gunman apparently stopped shooting to post online: officials

Social media platforms have scrubbed that and any other posts following Wednesday night’s massacre

Authorities trying to make sense of why a gunman killed 12 people at a Southern California bar are not publicly discussing what they’ve learned, but at least one Instagram post he made after beginning the massacre has emerged as an early focus.

Social media platforms have scrubbed that and any other posts following Wednesday night’s massacre. But one law enforcement official said Ian David Long, a 28-year-old former Marine, posted about his mental state and whether people would believe he was sane.

Authorities also were investigating whether he believed his former girlfriend would be at the Borderline Bar and Grill, said the official, who was briefed on the investigation but not authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

A second law enforcement official, Ventura County Sheriff’s Capt. Garo Kuredjian, said that — based on time stamps — the gunman apparently stopped shooting inside the bar and posted to Instagram. Kuredjian said he didn’t know the content of any posts. Instagram and Facebook typically refuse to discuss individual accounts and did not respond to a request for comment.

Authorities described an attack of military efficiency. None of those injured was hurt by gunfire. When the gunman shot his .45-calibre pistol, he killed. As scores of police officers closed in, Long apparently shot and killed himself.

Several people who knew Long in the suburb of Thousand Oaks where the gunman went to high school and eventually moved back in with his mother described him in disturbing terms.

Long made others feel uncomfortable going back to his teens.

Dominique Colell, who coached girls’ track and field at the high school where Long was a sprinter, remembers an angry young man who could be verbally and physically combative.

In one instance, Colell said Long used his fingers to mimic shooting her in the back of the head as she talked to another athlete. In another, he grabbed her rear and midsection after she refused to return a cellphone he said was his.

“I literally feared for myself around him,” Colell said in an interview Friday. “He was the only athlete that I was scared of.”

Colell said she wanted to kick Long off the team, but the boy’s coach urged her to reconsider because that could compromise his goal of joining the Marines. She relented when, at the next track meet, Long apologized in front of several coaches and administrators.

Attempts to get comment by phone and in person from officials at Newbury Park High School and its school district were unsuccessful. Both were closed because of a destructive wildfire in the area.

As investigators worked to figure out what set him off, President Donald Trump blamed mental illness, describing the gunman as “a very sick puppy” who had “a lot of problems.” At the White House on Friday, Trump touted his efforts to fund work on post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans and ignored questions about stricter gun control laws.

Investigators have not commented on whether mental illness played a role in the rampage. But a mental health specialist who assessed Long after sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about his agitated behaviour last spring worried he might be suffering from PTSD.

The incident happened in April, when yelling and loud banging noises coming from the home Long shared with his mother prompted a next-door neighbour to call authorities. The mental health specialist concluded there were no grounds to have him involuntarily committed.

Among the dead in the shooting rampage were a sheriff’s sergeant gunned down as he entered the bar and a U.S. Navy veteran who survived last year’s massacre in which a gunman in a high-rise Las Vegas hotel killed 58 people at an outdoor country music festival.

___

Balsamo reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Tami Abdollah in Washington; Krysta Fauria, Christopher Weber and Kathleen Ronayne in Thousand Oaks; Amanda Lee Myers and Justin Pritchard in Los Angeles; and Don Babwin in Chicago contributed to this report.

Jonathan J. Cooper And Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vedder Rotary trail network in Chilliwack will be closed for five days on the south side

The upgrade will take until Friday so trail users asked to take alternate routes

Chilliwack encouraged to commemorate liberation of Holland

Planning already underway to mark the 75th anniversary of the event

UPDATE: RCMP confirm body of missing Chilliwack senior found

Ethel ‘Grace’ Baranyk had severe dementia

RCMP urge caution for back to school drivers

Police are asking drivers to slow down and watch for pedestrians

UPDATE: Police response on Cheam First Nation a ‘non-event’, RCMP say

More than two dozen RCMP and ERT vehicles were at the First Nation looking for a known fugitive

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Memorial to deceased teen stays in place through Labour Day

Hundreds of tributes have been left at the Walnut Grove skate park

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

Most Read