In trigger-happy America, people are never safe
A gunman killed 12 people including a sheriff's deputy after he walked into a Southern California bar and started shooting late on Wednesday night, police said.
The gunman was also killed, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told a news conference early on Thursday, though it was not immediately clear by whom.
An unknown number of people were wounded during the attack at the Borderline Bar and Grill, a country and western venue in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks.
"It's a horrific scene in there," Dean said. "There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that."
Officials said shots were still being fired when the first officers arrived at the scene.
The dead officer was identified as Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department, Dean told reporters. Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer were the first to arrive at the bar and went inside just before 11.30pm.
After a lull of about 15 minutes, more officers went inside and found the suspected gunman dead of a gunshot wound. It was not clear whether he killed himself or was killed by officers, Dean said.
It was the latest mass shooting to rock the United States, six days after the death of two women at a yoga class in Tallahassee, Florida and 12 days after an anti-Semitic gunman entered a synagogue in Pittsburgh and killed 11 worshippers.
President Donald Trump, who has resisted a surge in calls for tougher gun controls since 17 students were shot dead at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida earlier this year, said on Twitter that he had been "fully briefed on the terrible shooting in California."
Witness John Hedge told ABC News he was near the front door of the California bar when the shooting began.