The man suspected of killing 12 people in a bar in a Los Angeles suburb was a decorated Marine Corp machine gunner deployed in Afghanistan who had several prior brushes with law enforcement, police and Marine officials said on Thursday (Nov 8).
Dean said Long was known to officers through a minor traffic collision and was a victim of a battery incident at a different bar. The shooter was found dead inside, authorities said.
Prior to heading to the scene, Helus talked to his wife, as he does several times during his shift, Dean said.
"It's a horrific scene", Sheriff Geoff Dean said yesterday. "We haven't found any correlation", the sheriff said.
Long was a veteran and served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Law enforcement agencies, firefighters and other first responders, along with several ambulances, additional units from the California Highway Patrol, Simi Valley and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, reached the spot soon after the shooting was reported.
The LA Times reported: "A lot of people in the Route 91 situation go here".
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Deputies also recovered a shovel and broom used to bury Cleavenger and straighten up the scene around the fire pit. Officials said he later confessed to the killing of his mother and implicated his friends.
"I don't know how, I don't know how", he said, before breaking into tears as he held onto his father-in-law. He first shot a security guard standing outside, then went in and opened fire on staff members and patrons, the sheriff said.
Civilians and other deputies pulled Sergeant Helus from the bar.
A witness to the shootings, Taylor Von Molt, 21, who said she was a promotor at the bar, said the gunman wore a black mask with a bandana covering the bottom of his face, and a black hoodie.
'He was totally committed, he gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero.' 'It's so tragic losing Ron.
"There's no doubt that they saved lives by going in there and engaging with the suspect", said Dean, who was set to retire on Friday.
A witness told the station, "There were people in the middle dancing and just hanging out and having a good time" when "very, very loud gunshots" rang out inside.
"When (he) started to reload, that's when we got people out of there and I didn't look back", Wennerstron said.
'As soon as I heard the shots I knew exactly what was going on, ' Wennerstrom said.'I turned and saw a dark figure, and made a decision to get out of there as soon as I could'. "There's a fence right there so I said, 'Everyone get over the fence as quickly as you can, ' and I followed them over".
"They ran out of the back doors, they broke windows, they went through windows". "It's the most sad thing that I've ever experienced in my life".