CHICAGO (CBS) — A young man from Elmhurst who had planned to go to the California bar where a gunman killed 12 people late Wednesday night said a teammate from his scholarship program is still missing in the wake of the massacre.
“Her roommate is just really shook up,” said Petey DiCianni, a junior at Pepperdine University.
The York Community High School graduate said the mass shooting scene is about a 20-minute drive from campus, and he was supposed to be there Wednesday night with friends.
DiCianni said he’s still processing the images and interviews coming from Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. He said he received a group text last night asking if everyone was okay, and his phone hasn’t stopped buzzing since.
Two of his friends were injured by glass as people smashed windows in the bar while they tried to escape. A teammate from his scholarship program is still missing after the shooting.
“Throughout the night, all the scholarship kids live in the same house together, so it was just constant consoling, and her roommate is just really shook up,” he said. “There’s a lot of speculation that could have gone on. Her phone could have dropped in the club as she was running. We don’t really know. Everyone is talking about having chills all morning. It’s just very sad.”
Twelve people were killed in the shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, including a sheriff’s deputy. The gunman apparently took his own life after police arrived. The shooter has been identified as Ian David Long, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
Authorities said Long walked into Borderline Bar and Grill, a popular bar in Thousand Oaks, California, and opened fire with a Glock .45 caliber handgun, killing 12 people. Hundreds had gathered at the bar and were dancing on a “college country night.”
“It appears he walked up to the scene, he shot the security guard that was standing outside. He stepped inside. It appears that he turned to the right and shot several of the other security and employees there and then began opening fire inside the nightclub,” Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.
Long reportedly threw smoke bombs into the crowd during the attack.
Witnesses inside the bar said their night went from laughing, dancing, and drinking to diving on the floor, hiding in bathrooms and the attic, and smashing windows to get out.
Authorities said Long killed 12 people before apparently taking his own life. Police said at least one other person was wounded by gunfire, and as many as 15 others were injured by flying glass.
Pepperdine University confirmed several students were at the bar during the shooting. Cal Lutheran, located less than five miles away, has canceled Thursday’s classes.
One of those killed was 54-year-old Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran who was set to retire next year.
“Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff’s sergeant. He was totally committed, he gave his all and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero. He went in to save lives, to save other people,” Dean said.
Helus is survived by his wife and son. No other victims’ names have been released.
Some people who were inside the bar said they had survived the deadly mass shooting at a country music in Las Vegas last year.
An emergency information hotline has been set up to help locate people involved in the shooting at 805-465-6650.
Investigators said they were waiting for a warrant before searching his home, about 40 miles outside of Los Angeles. Long’s mother is reportedly still inside the home and speaking to investigators.
Police have visited his house before, during an April disturbance, when they evaluated him and determined he might be suffering from PTSD.
The FBI and ATF are assisting the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.