(CBN News) – Using a smoke bomb and a handgun, a hooded gunman dressed all in black opened fire during “college night” at a country music bar in Southern California, killing 12 people and sending hundreds fleeing in terror, authorities said Thursday. The gunman then apparently killed himself. Authorities said the motive for the attack Wednesday night was under investigation. The killer was identified as Ian David Long, a 28-year-old former Marine.

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said his department had several previous contacts with Long, including a call to his home in April, when deputies found him angry and acting irrationally. The sheriff said a mental health crisis team was called at the time and concluded Long did not need to be taken into custody. Patrons at the bar screamed in fear, shouted “Get down!” and used barstools to smash second-floor windows and jump to safety as gunfire erupted at the Borderline Bar & Grill, a hangout popular with students from nearby California Lutheran University. READ MORE