The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office released a report on Thursday, Dec. 17, that included a play-by-play description of the 2018 mass shooting that took place at Thousand Oaks’ Borderline Bar & Grill, determining that California Highway Patrol Officer Todd Barrett’s use of deadly force was justified. Barrett, one of two law officers that responded to the initial 9-1-1 calls, mistakenly shot and killed Sergeant Ron Helus amid the firefight.
The 60-page report, authored by Senior Deputy District Attorney Christopher Harman, describes how the shooter opened fire at the bar around 11:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. Borderline was hosting line-dancing classes for college students as young as 18 and two different 21st birthday parties that evening. According to the report, approximately 260 patrons and employees were inside the bar when 28-year-old Ian David Long began shooting. Pepperdine student Alaina Housley was the youngest person to be killed that night.
The LA Times reported in 2018 that the shooter had been living with his mother in Newbury Park at the time of the attack. The Ventura County District Attorney’s report said that the shooter, a former Marine who had been honorably discharged, had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The report also included a minute-by-minute account of the gun battle between the shooter and the officers, Barrett and Helus. The pair arrived at Borderline minutes after the shooter began firing and were immediately ambushed by the shooter, who saw them enter on the security camera. Helus, a 29-year veteran of the sheriff’s department who had been planning to retire in a year or two, died in the firefight, struck in the heart by a bullet that had come from Barrett as he was standing back up after falling. He was later struck by five of the mass shooter’s bullets. The district attorney’s office determined Barrett’s deadly use of force was justified.
Other victims of the Borderline mass shooting include: Sean Adler, Cody Coffman, Blake Dingman, Jake Dunham, Daniel Manrique, Justin Meek, Mark Meza, Kristina Morisette, Telemachus Orfanos and Noel Sparks.
The DA’s report also found that Long died by shooting himself in the chin and that there were traces of marijuana, caffeine and tobacco in his system at the time of the massacre.