A young Sydney football player has told a terrifying story of survival, revealing the moment he escaped America’s latest mass shooting, and dragged others to safety with him.
Eleven people died inside the California bar and a veteran policeman was also killed.
The gunman, also found dead, used a handgun fitted with an extended magazine for extra bullets.
He had shot his way into the Borderline Bar and Grill, thrown a smoke bomb into the crowd and continued firing.
Australian Tristan Appleby was inside when the unthinkable unfolded.
“There were people laying down everywhere,” he said.
“The gunman shot the security guard and the cashier within two seconds.”
‘Three rounds into each person’
Tristan huddled on top his mates under a pool table with the gunman just 10 metres away.
“He was just standing over the top of people and just shooting them,” Tristan said.
“Three rounds into each person.”
With one eye on the exit, Tristan waited. When the shooter reloaded, he got his friends out.
“We ran out of the side door and then others followed, and and that led to a lot of people just exiting,” he said.
Cody Coffman, 22, was one of 12 people who didn’t make it.
Sheriff Sergeant Ron Helus called his wife, then raced in to save lives before losing his own.
The gunman, 28-year-old Ian David Long, was an ex-Marine who had served in Afghanistan.
Police had attended his home in April but mental health workers had deemed he did not need a psychiatric hold.