President Donald Trump on Friday described the Thousand Oaks shooting suspect, a Marine Corps veteran, as a “sick puppy” who was “a very mentally ill person.”
Trump also seemed to project the stereotype that all combat veterans who come home from war are damaged, broken or have mental health issues, saying people who return from war are “never the same.”
The suspect in the deadly California bar shooting on late Wednesday night was identified as Ian David Long, a 28-year-old Marine Corp veteran from Newbury Park, who opened fire in a crowded bar, killing 12 before turning the gun on himself.
“He is a very sick puppy. He was a very sick guy,” Trump said to reporters on Friday, later adding that, “People come back [from war]… it’s a horrible thing. They come back, they’re never the same.”
The video clip can be viewed by clicking here.
— Ben Kesling (@bkesling) November 9, 2018
“He had a lot of problems, a lot of trouble. … I funded a lot of money toward mental health for that reason,” Trump also said. “It is a problem, it’s a disastrous problem, it makes you sick to look at it. He was a very mentally ill person.”
“He was a war veteran. He served time, he saw some pretty bad things. A lot of people say he had the PTSD [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder]. I’ve given tremendous funding to the vets for PTSD… People come back… it’s a horrible thing. They come back, they’re never the same,” Trump said.
Wow – the president’s staff needs to serve him better and educate him that vets aren’t killers, PTSD doesn’t turn vets into killers. There are plenty of vet orgs who can help brief the commander in chief, who also has a @DeptVetAffairs he could call. cc @IAVA https://t.co/mD0pDRKN54
— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) November 9, 2018
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean had confirmed the shooter’s identity during a press conference on Thursday morning.
Dean explained that Long had minor interactions with law enforcement over the past few years, consisting of traffic incidents, and a 2015 incident in which he was a battery victim at a bar.
In April 2018, police were called to his home over reports of an “irate” individual. A crisis response team did not determine he was a severe enough threat to take into custody at the time.
Dean had also said that Long may have suffered with PTSD as a result of his Marine Corps service.
Long began his rampage by shooting a security guard outside the bar. He then entered the building and immediately targeted additional security guards positioned to the right inside the entry. Afterward, he opened fire on patrons.
Long used a legally-purchased .45 caliber Glock 21 handgun in the massacre. It was designed to abide by the 10-round magazine limit mandated by California law, but Long used an extended magazine to hold a greater round capacity.
It’s not yet clear how many rounds Long fired or how many the extended magazine contained. Investigators are processing the weapon as evidence, and it was the only one used in the crime.
First reports of the shooting occurred at 11:20 p.m. PST at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., approximately 40 miles west of Los Angeles.
The country western-themed bar was hosting “College Country Night” on Wednesday, with “hundreds” of people in attendance, according to law enforcement.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus was among the first to respond to the scene and was shot when he entered the building. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.