At least 12 people were killed by a gunman at a dance bar hosting a night for college students in southern California, using a .45 caliber handgun with an extended magazine to carry out the rampage, police said Thursday.
The gunman, who police identified as Ian David Long, a 28-year-old Marine Corps veteran, died at the scene after police arrived at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks.
Police responded three minutes after receiving reports of shots fired. A Sheriff's sergeant was hit by gunfire "multiple times" as he entered the bar, Ventura Country Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters.
Sergeant Ron Helus, who was the first to enter the bar, was pulled out of the line of fire by a fellow officer and transported to a nearby hospital.
He died of his wounds in addition to 11 victims inside.
A procession for the officer is planned for 10 a.m. local time (1800GMT).
Police found "multiple" other injured victims inside the bar that have since been transported to local hospitals, according to Dean.
"It's a horrific incident," he said. "It's part of the horrors that are happening in our country and everywhere, and I think it's impossible to put any logic or any sense to the senseless."
The mass shooting is at least the second across the U.S. in less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire in a Pennsylvania synagogue, killing 11.
It is also the deadliest since a gunman opened fire in a Florida high school, killing 17 people nine months ago.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he has "been fully briefed on the terrible shooting," thanking first responders for their "great bravery."
"California Highway Patrol was on scene within 3 minutes, with first officer to enter shot numerous times. That Sheriff’s Sergeant died in the hospital. God bless all of the victims and families of the victims. Thank you to Law Enforcement," he said.
The Turkish foreign ministry condemned the attack and expressed its condolences to the victim's families. aa