12 dead in Southern California bar shooting

Emergency services at the scene

Twelve people, including a sheriff's deputy, were killed after a gunman opened fire at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, late Wednesday, authorities confirmed early Thursday.

Officials say the suspect is dead inside the venue but did not mentioned how he died.

The Borderline Bar and Grill is a country-themed bar known for its large dance floor and live music events, according to its website.

The suspect was found dead inside the bar, police said.

Thirteen people have died, including a sheriff's sergeant and the gunman, after a shooting inside a crowded Southern California bar.

When the gunman entered, people screamed and fled to all corners of the bar, while a few people threw barstools through the windows and helped dozens to escape, witnesses said.

Matt Wennerstron, a 20 year old college student and regular at the bar, said the shooter fired a short-barreled pistol that apparently had a 10-15 round magazine. "There were people hiding in attics.It's a horrific scene in there". 13 people, at this time, have been reported dead.

The sheriff's spokesman says the first reports of shots fired came around 11:20 p.m.at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, which is about 40 miles west of Los Angeles.

"He said he and others smashed their way out of the bar onto a balcony and then jumped down to safety".

TV footage showed SWAT teams surrounding the bar, with distraught revelers milling around and using their cell phones as lights from police cars flashed.

Sarah Rose DeSon told ABC's "Good Morning America" that she saw the shooter draw his gun. A deputy sheriff is among the 11 people shot.

"A gentleman, who walked in through the front door, shot the girl that was right behind the counter", said Holden Harrah, who witnessed the shooting.

Helus, a 29-year veteran, was one of the first on the scene and was sacked on multiple times. "I don't know if she is alive", he said.

Witnesses described a scene of panic in the bar when the gunman started firing. "I could still hear gunshots after everyone left", the Times quoted the man as saying.

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