Tattooed ex-Marine who killed 12 people in country music bar massacre had PTSD: Gunman, 28, ‘terrified’ his mother and neighbors after returning from Afghanistan tour before he opened fire on student night
- Ian Long, 28, opened fire at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks at 11.20pm on Wednesday night
- He was dressed in all-black and used a legally owned .45 caliber handgun which had an extended magazine
- Witnesses said he also let off smoke grenades inside to confuse the terrified crowds as they ran for their lives
- In April, police and mental health specialists were called to Long’s home after neighbors heard crashes coming from inside
- They decided he was not qualified to be committed involuntarily and left him at home with his mother
- Neighbors told DailyMail.com on Thursday that she lived ‘in fear’ he was going to harm himself
- Long served in the Marines for five years between 2008 and 2013 during which time he was given 10 medals and toured Afghanistan as a machine gunner
- A US official said he was ‘not a stellar marine’ and claimed he was caught shoplifting in 2009 during a post
- After leaving the Marines, he spent three years studying athletic training at California State University Northridge but he dropped out in 2016
- A college roommate of his said he was ‘mean’, a ‘loner’ and would often dance in their garage alone
- He killed himself on Wednesday in an office in the bar after killing 11 patrons and a sheriff’s sergeant who responded
Ian Long, 28, opened fire on the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks at 11.20pm on Wednesday night during its weekly College Country Night where students from nearby schools line dance and listen to music.
He used a Glock .45 which had an extended magazine to kill 11 people inside the bar, including 22-year-old Cody Koffman and 23-year-old Justin Meek, after opening fire on the bouncer and throwing smoke grenades among the crowds to confuse them as they tried to flee.
Long then shot a sheriff’s sergeant who was one of the first on the scene. The 54-year-old sergeant, Ron Helus, died in the hospital afterward.
Survivors used bar stools to smash windows to climb out of and some hid beneath pool tables. One woman ran into the kitchen and was told by staff to climb a ladder into the attic.
Before SWAT teams entered the building, Long took his own life in an office inside. He used a legally purchased .45 caliber handgun to carry out the attack and had modified its magazine so it could hold more rounds.
Long served in the Marines as a machine gunner for five years between 2008 and 2013, during which time he was awarded 10 medals and toured Afghanistan.
The circumstances surrounding his departure are unclear but an unnamed US official told NPR he was ‘not a stellar marine’ and had been caught shoplifting in 2009 before he deployed. The official said he was honorably discharged.
Survivors from the shooting said he looked ‘like he knew what he was doing’ as he repeatedly fired his gun without saying a word. In April this year, deputies were called to the home he shared with his mother after neighbors heard loud crashes coming from inside.
He was acting ‘irrationally’ and was ‘irate’ so police called in their mental health specialist but they cleared him, deciding against having him committed. Neighbors told DailyMail.com on Thursday that his mother Colleen was ‘terrified’ he was going to harm himself or others.
Ian Long, 28, is the gunman who opened fire on Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, on Wednesday. He served in the Marines and is shown in photographs taken before he left armed forces in 2013. The circumstances surrounding his departure are unknown. Neighbors say he suffered PTSD
A shirtless man and two others carry an injured person out of the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, on Wednesday night after Long opened fire at 11.20pm. Eleven people inside the bar were killed along with a cop who was one of the first on the scene. Long then took his own life in an office inside the building It is unclear if he already owned the weapon he used to commit Wednesday’s attack or if he bought it after the April incident. Long has no criminal history except from a minor traffic infraction.
Long served in the Marine Corps for five years between 2008 and 2013 and he toured Afghanistan.
Long served in the Marine Corps from 2008 until 2013. He is pictured during a tour of Afghanistan between 2010 and 2011
The circumstances of his departure are not known, but he climbed to the rank of Corporal before he left the armed forces.
In a March 2017 post that was uncovered by CNN on the forum Shadowspear, he wrote: ‘I was honorably discharged in 2013.
‘I am graduating with a B.S. in Athletic Training in two months.
‘I found out a little too late that just wasn’t the job for me. Maybe the ego got the better of me but it took only one time for a 19-year-old D-2 athlete to talk down to me and tell me how to do my job that I realized this wasn’t the career I wanted to head,’ he said of his departure.
Curtis Kellog, a friend who he served with, said Long had a ‘great sense of humor’ and was excited to return to southern California after leaving the military.
‘He had a great sense of humor and like most Marines who have seen combat, it could get dark at times, just like all of us.
‘He was excited to get out so he could go back home, ride his motorcycle again and finish school,’ he told
During his time in the Marines, he was awarded numerous awards including two Navy Meritorious Unit Commendations, a Combat Action Ribbon, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; the National Defense Service Medal and the NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan.
All are a relatively standard issue.
A spokesman for the Marines declined to give information surrounding his discharge in 2013, telling DailyMail.com that they were bound by privacy laws and unable to reveal what prompted him to leave.
They did offer condolences to the victims of Wednesday night’s shooting.
GUNMAN’S MARINES RECORD
2008: Long joins the Marines on August 4, 2008. He was 18 at the time.
Nov. 16, 2010 – Jun. 14, 2011: Deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom
August 11, 2011: His rank is listed as Corporal after his tour
2011-2013: His last known assignment was in the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Third Marine Division, based out of Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
March 3, 2013: Long leaves the Marines. The circumstances are unknown.
2013 – 2016: Long studies at the California State University Northridge and majors in athletic training
Blake Winnett, who claims to have shared an apartment with him in 2014 while he was a student there, told The New York Post that he was a ‘loner’ who danced alone in their garage.
‘He didn’t want to help anyone do anything. He was just lazy I guess,’ he claimed, adding that he once responded:
‘That’s not my f****** job’ when Winnett asked him to take out the trash.
‘He wasn’t violent but he was mean. He would go to the gym and then he would, I guess, try to learn dance moves or something.
‘He would close the garage and be playing music and dancing in there, like sweating.
‘I would open the garage and would be like, “What are you doing?”‘ he said.
Long dropped out of the university in 2016 after three years.
He had been studying athletic training. Sometime after dropping out of college, he returned to his mother’s home in Newbury Park.
One neighbor told DailyMail.com that his mother ‘lived in fear’ that something would happen to him.