An armed man dressed in black opened fire late Wednesday night inside a crowded country and western dance hall “Borderline Bar” in Thousand Oaks, Califorina., killing at least 12 people, including a sheriff’s deputy who had responded to the scene.
Police haven’t identified the victim, but it is believed that he is dead at grill area. Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Buschow said “We have no idea if there’s a terrorism link or not”.
A man and his stepfather interviewed by ABC7 Eyewitness News said they heard about 12 shots before they were able to exit through the front door of the nightclub.
“He fired the first shot,” the stepfather said. “And I knew it was real. My son thought it was a joke, so I pulled him down and got some cover. I looked up, and he was moving to the right. He shot the front doorman, who was just a young man. Then he shot the cashier, just a young girl.”
Multiple eyewitnesses described seeing smoke, possibly from smoke bombs, and said people used chairs to break windows to flee from the scene.
“It was sheer panic,” said Taylor Whittler, 19, who was inside the venue at the time. “Everyone ran and dropped as fast as they could.”
Borderline describes itself as the county’s largest country dance hall and live music venue. With a dance floor covering about 2,500 square feet, it is open until 2 a.m. five days a week.