The gunman who killed twelve people at the Borderline Bar & Grill Wednesday night may have been getting revenge on peers who teased him in high school, according to new information being reported.
Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Ian Long was surprisingly on social media as he opened fire on hundreds of college students at a Thousand Oaks, California bar.
The 28-year-old military vet reportedly had a gun in one hand and his phone in the other as he he posted multiple messages on his Instagram Story during the massacre. Investigators allegedly discovered the posts on Long’s page hours after the shooting and contacted Instagram to delete the page.
Officials are still unclear on a motive, but it appears Long may have been carrying out revenge killings on his high school tormentors. A former classmate of the gunman told TMZ he was bullied as a teenager because of his lazy eye, and it affected him deeply.
The classmate claimed that a lot of those students regularly hit up Borderline on Wednesday nights, and Long apparently knew some of his former bullies would be there. Long was also reportedly a regular at the venue, but usually kept to himself and drank alone at the bar.
Long’s former peer said he suffered serious PTSD after touring in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011 as a decorated member of the Marines. However, someone else from his teenage years believes the vet has been “mentally disturbed” long before joining the military — Long’s high school track coach, who claimed he assaulted her about a decade ago.
Dominique Colell told the Los Angeles Times that Long was a senior at Newbury Park High School when the alleged assault took place. She claims she was attempting to find the owner of a cell phone another student found when Long noticed she had his phone.
The then-senior allegedly ran over to his coach and cursed her out, demanding she hand it back to him. Colell said she then called the contact labeled “Mom” on the phone to confirm it was Long’s before handing it over, which triggered an explosive reaction from the teen. She recalled:
“Ian came up and started screaming at me that was his phone. He just started grabbing me. He groped my stomach. He groped my butt. I pushed him off me and said after that — ‘you’re off the team.’ I should have reported it then…”
Colell ended up not filing charges because she was allegedly told by the school “to accept an apology to not ruin his future in the Marine Corps.” Long brought her flowers to try and get his position on the team back the next day, but Colell refused, remembering:
“He was very determined and very angry. He was probably the only student that I was actually scared of when I coached there.”
Unlike some people blaming Wednesday’s attack on Long’s PTSD from his military tour, Colell believes it stemmed from much earlier:
“There are hundreds of thousands of people with PTSD. They don’t go around shooting people. This kid was mentally disturbed in high school. There were signs and the administration knew it.”
Whether it’s PTSD, high school bullying, or mentally disturbed… it all comes back to us needing to put a much stronger emphasis on mental health and gun control.
[Image via CNN.]