The gunman dressed in a black trenchcoat and armed with a pistol equipped with an extended magazine and smoke grenades stormed the Borderline Bar and Grill.
Twelve people were shot and killed when a gunman opened fire in a crowded country and western bar in southern California, police have said.
The gunman is also dead, said sheriff Sgt Eric Buschow of Ventura county. A sheriff’s sergeant was one of those killed.
The shooter, who has not yet been named, stormed the Borderline Bar and Grill, wearing a black trenchcoat and armed with a pistol equipped with an extended magazine and smoke grenades, and began targeting people as young as 18.
The gunman walked up to the entrance at 11.20 pm (local time) and shot the bouncer before making his way into the venue. He then opened fire on a young female cashier before throwing smoke grenades onto the dance floor and letting off rounds into the crowd.
An injured man told local television channel KTLA: “We just dropped to the ground, we heard a lot of screaming. My friend is the DJ so she cut off the music. We just heard a lot of mayhem.”
Another witness from inside, Teylor Whittler, said: “I was on the dance floor and I heard the gunshots, so I looked back and then all of a sudden everyone screamed: get down!
“It was a huge panic, everyone got up, I was trampled, I was kind of left on the floor until some guy came behind me and grabbed me and dragged me out.”
Ventura County Sherriff Geoff Dean described the scene inside the bar as “horrific” and said there was “blood everywhere”.