Law enforcement sources told the news outlet that the gunman held a handgun in one hand and his phone in the other, posting messages on his Instagram Story while he shot and killed 12 people dancing at Borderline Bar & Grill's "college country night."
Investigators reportedly discovered the messages on his profile several hours after the shooting and contacted Instagram to delete the page. The content of his posts is not known, although it could help authorities move closer to a motive, possibly of revenge.
A former classmate told TMZ that Long was bullied in high school because of a lazy eye, which the outlet says "affected him deeply." The classmate added that many of the students who teased Long in high school frequented Borderline Bar & Grill on Wednesday nights.
Long was reportedly a regular at the bar who usually kept to himself. As previously reported, Long, who was found dead at the scene from a presumably self-inflicted gunshot wound, was a veteran of the Marines who served in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011. His classmate said he suffered serious post traumatic stress disorder after his tour and sought help from therapists and doctors.
The 28-year-old lived with his mother in Thousand Oaks, and neighbors said they would hear loud, aggressive fights between the two. Authorities reportedly visited the home just once, in April, after a neighbor reported yelling and crashing sounds.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said that deputies found that Long was "somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally" and called a mental health specialist, who concluded that Long couldn't be involuntarily committed for psychiatric observation.
"The mental health experts out there cleared him that day," Dean said on Thursday, reports The Telegraph. "Obviously he had something going on in his head that would cause him to do something like this."
Long's neighbor Richard Berge, who takes care of Long's mother's dogs, told Reuters that Long was "raving hell in the house, you know, kicking holes in the walls and stuff."
"They couldn't get him to come out, so it was like a standoff for four or five hours," he said of the April incident.
Long enlisted in the Marines at 18 and was married at 19 in Honolulu in June 2009, according to military and court records. His military service lasted nearly five years and was honorably discharged with the rank of corporal in 2013, according to the Pentagon. His marriage disintegrated during his service, with he and his wife separating in June 2011 while he was on a seven-month tour in Afghanistan. In divorce papers filed in 2013, two months after Long left the Marines, the couple cited irreconcilable differences.
In addition to the 12 fatally shot at Borderline Bar & Grill, a total of 25 other people were injured.
Police have given no updates as to Long's possible motive, although Dean said "there is no connection as of yet" linking the attack to terrorism.
Among the 12 victims are Ventura County Sheriff's Deputy Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the force who was the first to arrive on the scene, as well as actress Tamera Mowry-Housley's niece, 18-year-old Pepperdine student Alaina Housley.0comments
“Our hearts are broken. We just learned that our niece Alaina was one of the victims of last night’s shooting at Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks," Mowry-Housley and her husband stated via their joint representative in a statement to USA Today. "Alaina was an incredible young woman with so much life ahead of her and we are devastated that her life was cut short in this manner. We thank everyone for your prayers and ask for privacy at this time."
Dean held back tears as he commemorated Helus, who he said planned on retiring in the coming year. "Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff's sergeant who was totally committed," he said. "And tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero because he went into save lives."