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

Police officer recounts car chase and takedown in Nanaimo drive-by shooting trial

B.C. Supreme Court trial sees RCMP officer testify about multi-jurisdictional car chase

Crime Stoppers received more tips last year than the year before

The City of Nanaimo has proclaimed January as Crime Stoppers Month

‘Nanaimo is next’ for urgent primary care centre

B.C. Health Minister says new centre coming in next few months

Prolific offender arrested in “dynamic takedown” in Crofton

Lower Mainland man facing at least six charges

UPDATE: Gofundme campaign started for wife of victim in double fatal head-on crash

Clifford Bishop, 54, a resident of Cassidy, had been a truck driver since he was 18

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Nanaimo Women March On with a message that matters

A range of voices will lead the conversation at Jan. 19 event downtown

Letters on way to all homeowners in B.C. speculation tax communities

Property owners have to register to avoid vacant-home tax

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

Manly will give it another go with federal Green Party

Paul Manly to be acclaimed as party’s Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidate

Lantzville soccer player a first-round major-league draft pick

Callum Montgomery goes fourth overall to FC Dallas in MLS SuperDraft

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Most Read