'Significant' announcement expected in Calif. bar shooting

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Authorities planned Friday to announce what they call a "significant development" in their investigation of last month's shooting that killed 12 people at a popular Southern California country music bar.

The development was to be announced at a news conference at the Ventura County Sheriff's Station in Thousand Oaks, Detective Eric Buschow told The Associated Press. He declined to elaborate.

Investigators have previously said they don't know why 28-year-old Ian David Long stormed into the Borderliine Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks on Nov. 7 as people were dancing to country music.

He sprayed the bar with gunfire, killing 12 people before taking his own life.

Among those killed was sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, who was ambushed as he rushed into the bar to confront the gunman.

Long threw smoke grenades into the group of revelers, obstructing what they could see, before he opened fire.

Then he used a flashlight with a laser sight attached to his .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol as he fired, killing 12 of the 13 people who were struck. One survived.

Panicked revelers smashed windows to flee, dived under tables and piled on top of each other in an effort to dodge the gunfire.

The first two officers to arrive at the scene, Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer, saw at least 100 people fleeing the bar.

Long had gotten into a tactical position and fired on them when they entered, killing Helus. The 29-year veteran of the department was close to retirement.