Ian David Long’s Military Background: Facts about Gunmen who shot and kill 12
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The gunman who killed 12 people at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, was a 28-year-old veteran of the Marine Corps who had previous run-ins with the law, officials said.
The gunman’s body was found in the bar
The gunman used one handgun
Here’s what you need to know:
The Sheriff Says Long Was a Veteran Who Might Have Had PTSD
The Ventura County sheriff confirmed in a news conference that Ian David Long had a military background, saying, “He is a veteran. He was in the United States Marine Corps.” According to TMZ, Ian Long served in Afghanistan.
A troubling incident occurred in April 2018, but the sheriff acknowledged that mental health evaluators did not ask for Ian Long to be taken into custody after it.
The sheriff said that there were “several contacts” with David Long over the years. In the April incident, Ian David Long was described by a neighbor as screaming and banging on the walls in the home where he lived, NBC reported. The neighbor called 911 in April thinking that Long was violent and possibly trying to hurt himself.
The sheriff described Long as irate, irrational, and said it was believed he might have been suffering from PTSD from his military background. Although mental health professionals evaluated him, they did not take him into custody, the sheriff revealed in a news conference.
“We’ve had several contacts with Mr. Long over the years…. In April of this year, deputies were called to his house for a subject disturbing. They went to the house they talked to him. He was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally,” the Ventura County sheriff said. “They called out our crisis intervention team, our mental health specialists.”
The sheriff said those specialists “met with him, talked to him, cleared him. They didn’t feel he was qualified to be taken” into custody. “He was left at that scene last April.” He added, “The mental health experts cleared him that day.”
It’s not clear whether the gunman committed suicide at the scene in Thousand Oaks. “It’s well too early to know if he took his own life,” the sheriff said. He did not have further details on Ian Long’s service record. The sheriff said he was found dead “inside an office just adjacent to the bar.”
Throughout the event, Long used a handgun with “perfect form“, according to one witness who has family in the military, and reloaded the gun at least once. The sheriff said in a news conference that the gun was “legally purchased” and described it as a “Glock 21 .45 caliber. Designed to hold a magazine of 10 rounds and one in the chamber. He had an extended magazine on it.”
Authorities had had contact with Long over the years. The sheriff said Long was once the victim of battery at a local bar a couple years ago.
Mass Shooters in the United States Are Disproportionately Veterans, According to Several Studies
According to an analysis of mass shootings that took place in the United States between 1982 and 2018, the vast majority of shooters were male (98 percent) and had mental health problems. But there’s another common denominator with mass shootings: many of them were veterans.
Approximately 34 percent of the 83 shootings committed by men between the ages of 18 and 59 were veterans, per an analysis by World Beyond War. Veterans also have higher rates of mental health problems than civilians; one study reports that veterans kill themselves at a 50 percent higher rate than civilians, per The Los Angeles Times.
As Hugh Gusterson, professor of international affairs at George Washington University notes to The New York Times, veterans account for 13 percent of the population, “but more than a third of the adult perpetrators of the 43 worst mass killings since 1984 had been in the United States military.” An NBC News timeline of mass shootings carried out by veterans since 2009 shows the extent of this truth.