Thousand Oaks Shooting Survivor Describes Witnessing Bloodbath: ‘I Thought It Was A Joke’

Nick Givas | Media And Politics Reporter

A survivor of Wednesday’s shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, spoke with Fox News about his experience and said it was so surreal he initially thought it was a joke.

John Hedge was one of the eyewitnesses who managed to escape from Borderline Bar & Grill where 12 people were shot dead by suspected shooter Ian Longaccording to NBC News. The suspect, 28, was killed, along with a Ventura County sheriff’s deputy.

Long allegedly tossed smoke grenades into the bar before he began to open fire. (RELATED: California Bar Shooting: Here’s What We Know)

“I was sitting at the tables nearest to the front door. And I hear some guns, you know, I hear some loud pop, pop, pop. And I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was a joke,” Hedge said.

“Also, I see my stepdad dive to the ground. And he says, you know, hide, hit the deck. You know, what are you doing, get to the ground sort of thing, yelling. And so I dive,” he added. “And I look up and, you know, there is a gunman taking fire. The bouncer was already down at that point. He was pointing it behind the front desk, the cash register.”

WATCH:

Hedge described the shooter as having “a full beard.” “He was wearing a black hat, a black jacket on. He had darker skin. He couldn’t have been over 30,” he said.

“He didn’t say anything. The only thing you hear is screaming and people just yelling,” he continued.

Hedge said he escaped through the front door and thanked God for helping him make it out alive.

“When I got out of front door, I went back to see if my stepdad was okay or where he was or, you know, if there was anybody trying to get out. And I saw some smoke grenades being thrown and more gunshots,” he said. “He was behind the desk around the desk at that point. And that’s when I heard my stepdad yelling I’m over here. We need to get out of here. And there was people running all over the place.”

“When I got up, I was going to go run to the bathroom to go hide. And I saw that he had left the front door area. And there was maybe one or two couple people that ran out,” he concluded, adding:

“I just ran as fast as I could to the front door and thank God I made it out okay. You know, he was right there. Me and my stepdad were the closest people besides the bouncer and the people at the front desk to the front door.”

President Donald Trump tweeted about being fully briefed on the situation Thursday morning and praised the bravery of the sheriff’s deputy who was killed.

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