Thousand Oaks Shooting: Former Classmate of Ian Long Reveals Possible Motive

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
November 9, 2018US News
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A former classmate of Thousand Oaks gunman Ian David Long said that Long was bullied in high school.

The classmate told TMZ that fellow students made fun of him because he had a lazy eye.

She said that Long knew some of their ex-classmates from Newbury Park High School would be at the Borderline Bar and Grill on Nov. 7, and believes that his motive for the mass shooting, which left 12 dead and others wounded, was revenge.

Long regularly visited the bar but often kept to himself, watching others but not engaging with them.

Law enforcement sources also told TMZ that Long was on Instagram during the shooting. He apparently posted multiple messages on his Instagram Story during the massacre.

Law enforcement found the page several hours after the shooting and contacted the company to take it down. His posts support the theory that he had a grudge.

John Hedge, who was inside the bar and escaped, said he watched as Long shot people and got the impression he was hitting predetermined targets. “It seemed like he had a vendetta against the girls working the front desk,” he told People magazine.

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean has said that officials aren’t sure about Long’s motive and can’t confirm he was targeting specific people and the investigation is ongoing.

ian david long driver's license
This 2017 photo from the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows Ian David Long. Authorities said the Marine combat veteran opened fire at a country music bar in Southern California, Nov. 7, 2018, killing multiple people before apparently taking his own life. (California Department of Motor Vehicles via AP)

Mental Health Evaluation

In April 2018, mental health specialists spoke with Long and discussed his military service before asking him whether he had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

But they ultimately determined he wasn’t a danger to himself or others, Dean previously told reporters.

They also said he couldn’t involuntarily be taken to a mental hospital under the California 5150 law code for the temporary, involuntary psychiatric commitment of individuals who present a danger to themselves or others due to mental illness.

Dean said that the deputies were called to Long’s house that day regarding a disturbance.

“He was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally. They called out our crisis intervention team, our mental health specialist,” he told ABC 6.

Defense Department records show that Long was on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps from August 2008 to March 2013, and was in Afghanistan for six months during that time.

Ian David Long house
Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies stand outside the house of shooting suspect David Ian Long in Newbury Park, Calif., on Nov. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Neighbors Speak

Neighbors, though, said that they thought Long had PTSD.

Richard Berge, a friend and neighbor of Long’s mother, said Long’s mother was worried about her son.

“She was worried because he wouldn’t get help,“ Berge told USA Today. “I asked her, ‘Can’t he just get help.’ She said, ‘He can’t get help.’”

Donald MacLeod, 79, whose house shares a back wall with the Long residence, said that he often heard Long arguing with his mother, sometimes as late as 2 a.m. One time, more than a year ago, MacLeod heard a gunshot, but didn’t call the police.

“I’m not surprised at all,” he said. “I did not trust the guy.”

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