Ian David Long, the suspected mass shooter at a Thousand Oaks bar Wednesday night, was born in Orange and, according to an elementary school classmate, he was “a coward,” “a spoiled piece of shit” and “such a little prick to his mom.”
The source: my son-in-law.
Cole Marcum-Walsh and 28-year-old Long attended Silverado Elementary School. The Silverado Canyon campus, which closed in 2010, became a political hot potato earlier this year when it was proposed as a shelter for Orange County’s displaced homeless population.
“He was a spoiled piece of shit and a coward,” Marcum-Walsh says of Long. “We got in a fight one time and I got the best of him. When I turned around, he hit me with a Razor scooter.”
Added the former classmate, “He was the type of kid who would throw rocks at you and then run away.”
Around 11:20 p.m. at Borderline Bar & Grill, where hundreds of people were either attending or working during “College Country Night,” a tall man wearing all black with a hood and his face partially covered entered the Thousand Oaks’ venue.
He pulled out a .45 caliber Glock 21, shot a security guard near the entrance, turned to the right and began spraying bodies with bullets. Once the smoke cleared, 12 people had been shot to death and the alleged shooter was also dead, possibly by taking his own life. Around 15 others were injured, although most suffered relatively minor cuts and bruises while escaping or shielding themselves from the attack.
“College Country Night” draws students from Pepperdine, Cal Lutheran and Cal State Channel Islands universities.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said this morning that while the shooter’s handgun was purchased legally, a magazine that was used is outlawed in California. That device allowed the gunman to fire more rounds without having to reload. The Associated Press reports that a smoke device was also deployed.
Unarmed, off-duty law enforcement inside the bar when the shooting broke out reportedly used themselves as shields to protect other patrons. Deputy Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran with the force, rushed inside with a California Highway Patrol officer and was shot to death. Helus, who Dean says planned to retire within the next year, is being hailed as a hero because the nightmare ended soon after his entry when SWAT officers rushed in.
The gunman was identified this morning as 28-year-old Long, who was born March 27, 1990, in Orange. Dean, who coincidentally leaves office at midnight, says his deputies previously responded to a call from another bar where Long had been the victim of a battery. Authorities have not yet released a motive for the mass shooting or said if the previous encounter played a part.
Before his death, Long had been living with his mother in Newbury Park, which is five miles from the mass shooting location. The suspect, who was covered in tattoos, drove Colleen Long’s vehicle to Borderline Bar & Grill.
She is originally from San Diego, and online records indicate she has also resided in Silverado, Costa Mesa and Lake Forest. Online telephone records link a Trabuco Canyon-based cell phone number to an Ian Long.
Social media pages indicate Colleen Long formerly worked at Vans “Off the Wall,” whose corporate headquarters had been in Orange but have since moved to Costa Mesa. For the past several years, she has been with the Dole Food Co. in Thousand Oaks.
Marcum-Walsh recalled that Colleen Long “was a sweetheart” who bought her son anything he wanted, took him on trips overseas and brought him home brand new caps, shoes and shirts from Vans.
But her son “was such a little prick to his mom, too,” said Marcum-Walsh, who did not recall ever having met the father. “There were never men around. She didn’t have a boyfriend.”
He remembered the boy “really being into baseball,” following the Seattle Mariners and the team’s backward cap-wearing superstar slugger Ken Griffey Jr. Marcum-Walsh figured Long would become a baseball player himself someday.
Colleen Long’s Facebook page includes photos of her attending Los Angeles Dodgers games with her son. She dyed her hair blue during the team’s ultimately unsuccessful World Series run.
Marcum-Walsh had heard that his former classmate, who left the canyon during his middle school years, joined the United States Marines. However, he was surprised upon being told that the machine gunner served in a combat zone.
According to the Marine Corps, Long was in the service from 2008-2013 and that his stint included deployment to Afghanistan from Nov. 16, 2010, through June 14, 2011. Long achieved the rank of corporal and was awarded various medals and ribbons, according to the Corps.
Colleen Long’s neighbors are telling reporters that they assume her son suffered from post traumatic stress disorder since returning home. In April, deputies were called to the house because he was allegedly irate and acting irrationally. A mental health crisis team was called in, but it was ultimately decided Long did not have to be taken into custody, Dean said today.
Marcum-Walsh, who says the last thing he had heard about Long before the shooting was that he had gotten married, fathered a child, moved to Hawaii and then gotten divorced, flirted recently with trying to look up his former classmate on Facebook.
Can he recall anything that led him to believe Long was … well … off?
“Oh yeah, he seemed like a sociopath. He did not empathize with people. He thought he was better than everyone else. He had delusions of grandeur.”
When it’s mentioned Marcum-Walsh now has one degree of separation from a mass killer, he remarked, “Yes, I’ve seen evil.”
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.