A gunman shot and wounded 11 people including a sheriff’s deputy Wednesday in Southern California, using a handgun and smoke bombs at a country dance bar on “college night” and sending hundreds of panicking people toward the exits with some breaking windows to escape, authorities and witnesses said.
The gunman was dead inside the bar, Ventura County sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Buschow said, but did not say how he died.
Authorities have not confirmed whether any of the wounded had died.
Ventura County sheriff’s Capt. Garo Kuredjian said hundreds of people were inside the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks at 11:20 p.m., and shots were still being fired when deputies arrived.
Several people from inside the bar told TV stations that a tall man wearing all black with a hood and his face partly covered first shot at a person working the door, then opened fire, seemingly at random, at the people inside.
People screamed and fled to all corners of the bar, while a few people threw barstools through the windows and helped dozens escape, witnesses said.
It was college night and country two-step lessons were being offered Wednesday at the Borderline, according to its website.
Kuredjian said it has been “quite some time” since there was a shooting of any kind in Thousand Oaks, a city of about 130,000 people about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Los Angeles, just across the county line.