Commentary

Thousand Oaks Gunman Stopped in Middle of Deadly Shooting To Post Haunting Social Media Message

The gunman who killed 12 in a Thousand Oaks, California restaurant rampage on Wednesday left behind two chilling social media messages regarding his motives during the shooting, KABC-TV in Los Angeles reported.

“Law enforcement sources who have been briefed on the Thousand Oaks mass shooting investigation tell ABC News that preliminary information indicates suspected gunman Ian David Long walked into the Borderline Bar & Grill, immediately shot a group of security guards and employees standing near the entrance, and then paused to text or post messages on social media,” the station reported.

“After a pause he then began shooting victims on the dance floor.”

Sometime during the killing spree, Long managed to get on social media and give his alleged motives for the attack, according to KABC.

At 11:24 p.m., Long used his Instagram account to post this message: “It’s too bad I won’t get to see all the illogical and pathetic reasons people will put in my mouth as to why I did it. Fact is I had no reason to do it, and I just thought… f— it, life is boring so why not?”

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Three minutes later, he posted another message.

“I hope people call me insane (2 smiley face emojis)…wouldn’t that just be a big ball of irony? Yeah… I’m insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is ‘hopes and prayers’… or ‘keep you in my thoughts’… every time… and wonder why these keep happening… (2 more smiley face emojis).”

According to USA Today, Long was later found dead inside an office at the bar, presumably of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Officials confirmed that they were looking into posts he made on Instagram but would not comment further.

They also wouldn’t comment on whether mental health was being looked at as a possible motive. Long, a former Marine, had been reported to engage in loud fights with his mother, one of which was so extreme that police were called.

Authorities say there were concerns that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder but a mental health professional found no grounds on which he could be committed involuntarily.

Fox News noted that Long’s problems seem to have stretched back some time.

Do you think social media had any role in this mass shooting?
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“Long grew up in Thousand Oaks and several people who knew him described him in disturbing terms. Long made others feel uncomfortable going back to his teens,”  Fox News reported.

“Dominique Colell, who coached girls’ track and field at the high school where Long was a sprinter, remembers an angry young man who could be verbally and physically combative.

“In one instance, Colell said Long used his fingers to mimic shooting her in the back of the head as she talked to another athlete. In another, he grabbed her rear and midsection after she refused to return a cellphone he said was his.”

Fox News also reported that Long may have been targeting a former girlfriend he believed was at the bar.

Of course, the answer could be all of these. Or it could be the most chilling reason of all: The sheer nihilism he bragged about on social media while he was in the midst of killing 12 innocent people.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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