The killer was identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a former machine gunner and veteran of the war in Afghanistan who was interviewed by police at his home last spring after an episode of agitated behaviour that they were told might be post-traumatic stress disorder.
"Obviously he had something going on in his head that would cause him to do something like this", Dean said.
When the shooting was over, 13 were dead, including the shooter who was found by responding officers. The sheriff believes Dean took his own life.
"It's a horrific scene in there". Witnesses described a rapid sequence of shots that it made them think he was using a semi-automatic weapon. "I know we don't have all the details in yet, but you know, it just feels like it's an attack on our community. Pop, pop, pop. There was probably three or four, I hit the ground", John Hedge, at the bar with his stepfather, told CNN affiliate KABC. He shot the security guard.
Authorities in Southern California say a gunman killed 12 people late Wednesday during an attack at a bar and dance club.
The gunfire started during line dancing, witnesses said.
"There were people hiding in restrooms, people hiding in attics", he added.More news: At least 12 killed at California bar shooting
Officials said that shots were still being fired when the first officers arrived at the scene.
When the gunman ran out of bullets and had to reload, Wennerstrom said he knew he had a moment to act.
Many more people had minor injuries, including some that came from their attempt to flee, Dean said.
The Borderline Bar & Grill lists a "College Country Night" which takes place on Wednesdays, and is said to be popular with students. Investigators didn't immediately know how many rounds the magazine could hold, he said. Pepperdine officials said they were devastated to share the news. As they escaped through the bar's back door, she heard a second round of shots.
"He was just a great guy, a gentle soul", Buschow said.
The 23-year-old "heroically saved lives" during the shooting before his death, the school said. "Everyone was just trying to get out". "And the gunman started opening fire on the cashiers, the people working the cash register on the front desk".
"His name was Cody Coffman, my firstborn son", said Coffman, his voice breaking as he wiped tears away with a tissue.
"The University offers its deepest condolences and is praying for everyone involved in tonight's tragic events", it tweeted. The city "is considered one of the safest cities in the country", according to Mayor Andy Fox. "We're very proud of who he is", one person said.
"We have no idea if there is a terrorism link to this or not".