Thousand Oaks parents: I dont want prayers. I dont want thoughts. I want gun control.

Thousand Oaks parents: \I don\t want prayers. I don\t want thoughts. I want gun control.\

Thousand Oaks shooting: The victims of California bar attack

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It was a regular part of Kraft’s life — Wednesday nights. Mark it down. Every other week. He’s there. That’s when the Thousand Oaks social scene converged with country music and dancing. He knows most of the regulars, he said.

California shooting survivor went to high school with the gunman

Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus and a passing highway patrolman were responding to several 911 calls late Wednesday night when they showed up at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.

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It was "college night" at the bar, and many students were there to learn the country two-step.

Cameron Kraft was still shaken, as he stood outside a Thousand Oaks Starbucks on Thursday. For days, hed been telling a friend visiting from Germany about this great “college night” at Borderline Bar & Grill.

But when Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer entered the bar about 11:20 p.m., gunshots were already piercing the room. He and the CHP officer went inside, according to Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean, who held an emotional news conference outside the bar early Thursday morning.

Helus was immediately hit with multiple gunshots, Dean said. The highway patrolman cleared the perimeter and pulled Helus out.

By the time they entered the bar again the gunfire had stopped, and they found 12 people dead inside, including Helus and the gunman. A 24-mile procession was held for Helus before noon, as a hearse carried his body from the bar to the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office. Firefighters, police and school children saluted the caravan as it passed by.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Alaina Housley was a Pepperdine University freshman. Photograph: Adam Housley/AP Adam Housley, a former Fox News correspondent, and Tamera Mowry-Housley, an actor known for the 1990s TV series Sister Sister, said their niece was killed at the bar where she had gone line dancing with friends.

Officer, art student, veteran: the victims of the California bar shooting

"Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff's sergeant who was totally committed," Dean said, choking back a few tears and clearing his throat.  "And tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero because he went in to save lives."

Read more Meek played water polo for Cal Lutheran and had planned to go to San Diego this coming weekend for the retirement party of his dad, a Navy Seal. Meek also worked at the bar with his sister and fellow Cal Lutheran student, Victoria Rose Meek, who survived, Ellis said.

Video: BREAKING NEWS: Sheriff confirms 12 shot dead in California bar

Law enforcement officials identified the gunman as Ian David Long of Newbury Park, a 28-year-old ex-Marine who used a .45-caliber Glock handgun. He suffered from PTSD.

He was a very, very big personality and had a very, very gorgeous smile, she said, adding that he had once considered becoming a police officer. I dont think in all the years Ive known him, and its almost 30, I ever heard him say no to someone.

When Long 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.

2:17 California shooting: The last thing I said was: Son, I love you – video report Newly graduated from California Lutheran University, Justin Meek cared for children with special needs, performed as a singer and worked at the Borderline bar.

Video: Deadly Shooting At Bar In Southern California

Thousand Oaks shooting: Tributes to hero victims of bar attack

Shootings of any kind are very rare in Thousand Oaks, a city of about 130,000 people about 40 miles west of Los Angeles, just across the county line.

1:26 He just kept firing: witnesses describe California bar shooting – video Sean Adler, 48, was a security guard at Borderline who would stay late to ensure people could get home safely, said Debbie Allen, a longtime friend.

The news struck Helus' work family hard. Capt. Kuredijan Long described his slain friend as a leader, a "lifelong learner" and a "workout fanatic." 

Helus was a 29-year veteran of the force with a wife and grown son and planned to retire in the coming year, said the sheriff, who choked back tears several times as he talked about a man who was also his longtime friend.

Ex-Marine Ian Michael Long, 28, opened fire at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California killing 11 people before turning the gun on himself. 

A friend, Sgt. Eric Buschow, said Helus took on some of the toughest assignments, was on the SWAT team for much of his career and worked in narcotics and investigations.

Witnesses of the deadly California bar shooting in which 12 people died on Wednesday night have spoken out about their dramatic escape from the tragedy.

Hero Australian man, 20, caught up in US mass shooting reveals how he protected mates from shooter

The sheriff said Helus told her, "Hey I gotta go handle a call. I love you. I'll talk to you later."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Gina Silva and Gigi Graciette reported from Thousand Oaks, Calif. Lisa Fernandez wrote from Oakland, Calif. 

Wennerstorm said survivors seized their opportunity while Long reloaded to break windows and escape to safety

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