Thousand Oaks shooting: What do we know about the gunman?
Details emerge about Thousand Oaks gunman, but motive still a mystery
- Details of the Thousand Oaks gunman's life are starting to emerge, but much of his life and the motivations behind the massacre remain unclear.
- A former member of his military unit says his combat experience is unlikely to have changed him.
- High school teachers and coaches have said they feared the shooter even when he was a teenager.
- One neighbor told reporters, "You never knew when he was going to go off."
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — At first, the outlines of the mass shooter's 28 years appeared unremarkable.
Ian David Long enlisted in the Marines out of high school and married at 19. Within five years, he was honorably discharged, divorced and in college.
As the picture sharpened, troubling details emerged — the kinds of clues that, in hindsight, make people wonder out loud whether the impulse that led Long to kill 12 people at a country music bar had been forming in plain sight.
Neighbors avoided him. He made them uncomfortable, and then there were the fits of aggressive yelling and property destruction at the home Long shared with his mom. One of his high school coaches says he scared her.
Others who interacted with Long at different stops — high school classmates, Marines in his regiment, professors — struggled to recall much about him. Meanwhile, family who did know him and investigators who are learning his story aren't talking publicly.
One thing that has leaked out: During the Nov. 7 massacre at the Borderline Bar &Grill,Longpostedonsocialmediaaboutwhetherpeoplewouldthinkhewasinsane.
AroundthetimeLongleftcollegein2019,Chavannesaidsheunfriendedhimbecauseshedidn'tlikewhathewaswriting— though she couldn't remember the details.
"I was like, 'Who is this guy posting this? Oh, it's Ian,'" said Chavanne.
What Long did over the past two years is largely a public mystery.
In April, one particularly alarming uproar on the Longs' property prompted an intervention.
"It sounded to me like the man was out of his head," said Tom Hanson, a next-door neighbor who called 911.
Deputies summoned a mental health specialist, who interviewed Long. A 72-hour involuntary psychiatric commitment requires an "imminent" threat of harm, and the specialist concluded his behavior wasn't extreme enough.
The standard can be tough to meet, said Marisa Randazzo, who has interviewed five mass shooters as the former chief research psychologist for the U.S. Secret Service. "We don't want laws that somebody can be taken in because of something they said over Thanksgiving dinner," she said.
Hanson, the neighbor on a quiet block in a city often ranked as one of California's safest, said he sympathized with Long's mother.
"I think she was all the time overwhelmed by this guy," Hanson said. "You never knew when he was going to go off."
Julie Watson, Tami Abdollah, Audrey McAvoy, Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Caleb Jones, Jennifer Farrar and Allen G. Breed contributed reporting.
Video: California bar massacre: Details emerge about gunman's past
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