(Simi Valley, Ca) Ventura County Sheriff, Bill Ayub, held a press conference at 10:00 A.M. today at the East Valley Sheriff’s station to share details with the public about the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting that took place on November 7th.
The press conference included Sheriff Bill Ayub, Paul De La Court of the FBI and Christopher Young from the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s office. Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten attended but did not speak.
To watch the televised conference, click here. (25 minutes)
Paul De La Court, the Assistant Director in charge of Los Angeles Field Office for the FBI, stated that evidence response team was on site for 8 days to recover victims and evidence. The joint team is working on shooting reconstruction as evidence is processed back at the FBI lab located at FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia.
Victim specialists were also on site working with the Ventura County Sheriff’s team. The team engaged in hundreds of interviews and recovered media still in the lab. As of today, there is no indication of radicalization and no motive has been established.
De La Court also expressed his gratitude for the professionalism of both the FBI team and the Ventura County Deputy Sheriff investigation teams stating, “There is no light between federal and local on this investigation.”
Sheriff Ayub expressed condolences to families of victims while also stating that information shared at the press conference is first shared with families of the victims. “This has been an active and complex investigation. We are sharing only to the extent we are able to share right now. There will be no questions taken after this briefing.”
Ayub explained that for the first 8 days, the FBI was on site collecting evidence. Approximately 80-90 FBI personnel have worked on this investigation with many flown from other parts and some evacuated from hotels during their stay. “Despite difficult circumstances, investigators worked through the finest details and the evidence is now in the lab. We offer our sincere gratitude to our partners at the FBI and other agencies that provided assistance during the fires.” Simi Valley Police Department, Oxnard Police Department, Ventura Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol were among a few of the agencies offering support.
Borderline Bar & Grill Shooting November 7 Event Details
Ayub then shared event specific details.
“On November 7 at 11:18 P.M., the suspect entered Borderline Bar & Grill with a Glock 45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. The weapon was purchased legally in August 2016 in Simi Valley. The suspect had a folding knife. No other firearms were found in the vehicle or the residence. It is estimated he shot approximately 50 rounds. He came with 7 high capacity, 30 round magazines. Investigators found 5 fully loaded. These types of high volume magazine are illegal to possess in California but are purchasable in neighboring states. The suspect also had a flashlight with a laser sight on the gun. He used smoke grenades. He did not have a permit to conceal carry the weapon.”
Ayub continued, “He struck 13 people. Only 1 survived. The suspect prepared himself for officer response. He sought an ideal position to ambush officers from a place of advantage. None of the rounds fired by either Sergeant Helus or the CHP officer struck the suspect. It was not clear at the time whether the officers exited or were still inside. Sergeant Helus was hit multiple times and had to be rescued.”
Ayub went on to explain that the Sheriff’s office was prepared for a barricaded suspect and called in a negotiator and other resources. One challenge the Sheriff’s office faced was conflicting information from witnesses. Injured patrons went to another bar (the Tipsy Goat on Thousand Oaks Boulevard) which caused some to think there were multiple shootings. Details were also conflicting with regard to details about the appearance of the shooter making some think there were 2 shooters.”
“Confusion and chaos can only begin to describe the situation,” explained Ayub.
Approximately 100 people were fleeing when Helus arrived on scene. After the suspect was killed, back up officers went into the location and found more than a dozen people hiding in the attic.
Medical Examiner Analysis
The Ventura County Medical Examiner, Christopher Young, also spoke at the conference. “The effect of this tragedy is far beyond Ventura County,” shared Young.
“The role of the Medical Examiner is to transport bodies, positive identify the deceased, and the notification to family. Examination includes fully body x rays, evidence collection, and toxicology,” explained Young. “The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s office received support from other agencies including 2 physicians from LA County. The goal was to return victims to families as soon as possible. The caring manner of the team was immense.”
“The 2 physicians from L.A. County helped on all 13 victim autopsies. At 3:00 P.M., we received the body of Sergeant Helus and the shooter. Within 24 hours all victims had been processed.”
Young also conveyed that autopsy reports will be received by the District Attorney. Family will receive the information first.
“All victims died rapidly,” stated Young. “Most were within close proximity with no chance of survival.”
Ayub shared that Ventura County Sheriff Deputy Sergeant Ron Helus exchanged fire with Ian Long.
“No victims appear to have been injured by officers but still further analyzing. All but one victim died due to gun shot wound. One victim was killed due to stabbing in the neck.”
Sheriff Ayub explained, “The suspect died due to a gun shot wound to the head. Besides this, there were no significant injuries to the shooter.”
Ayub went on to address certain rumors and clarification of facts known to the public.
Some rumors included a story about the suspect targeting a girlfriend employed at Borderline. This was false. There was no evidence of this.
Rumors also circulated that Long was previously employed at Borderline and had a dispute with the owner. These were also false. The owner did not know Long.
Officials conveyed that they do not have detail of how these events unfolded. Currently, they have conducted more than 400 interviews and have been reviewing body cameras, surveillance footage, and mobile phone footage.
The motive of the suspect is not known. The analysis will take time. The social media accounts are locked down and being analyzed.
Sergeant Helus was wearing body armor. Sheriff Ayub explained that patrol officers are training in active shooter situations. The appropriate firearm for active shooter response is a rifle. Ventura County Deputy Sheriff’s office includes 750 sworn deputies. Of those, 300 carry rifles and have tactical training. These are single projectile ammunition shots.
“Off duty officers were at Borderline that evening. there were 8 off duty officers that night. Two were Ventura County Sheriff Deputies and 6 with other agencies.The Ventura County Sheriff’s office does not require off duty officers to conceal carry. No rounds were fired by off duty officers however they did help people get out.
The suspect had some history of entanglements with law enforcement. There was a welfare check on April 4, 2018 where he had a disagreement with his mother over money. This was a disturbance inside the residence. The suspect was suffering from a mental breakdown. He did not express a desire to hurt himself or others. He punched holes in the wall. Deputies determined he was not qualified for 5150 (involuntary psychiatric commitment for individuals presenting a danger to themselves or others). The mental health crisis team from Ventura County Health Care Agency also visited him and concluded he did not meet the criteria for 5150. They did recommend anger management and job placement analysis. In addition, a gun violence restraining order was not issued for this incident because there was no gun on site.
The suspect also has a traffic accident previously and a sexually inappropriate text with a girl in high school in 2008.
Victim’s Families and Community Leaders attend briefing
Thousand Oaks City Councilwoman, Claudia Bill-de la Peña, attended the event and met with victim’s families in attendance.
When asked what she thought about the briefing, Bill-de la Peña stated, “Now with the fires behind us, we can grieve and mourn the loss of 12 beautiful souls. There are more memorials to come.”
Susan and Tyler Orfanos also attended the event. Susan, Mother of Tel Orfanos who survived the Las Vegas mass shooting but was killed on November 7, stated, “We are here to represent our son. He is not a statistic. He is our son. Our brother. He is a family member. From Greece to New Zealand, we have family all over the world that feel this loss and are grieving.”
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