A gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a country dance bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., killing 12 people including a sheriff’s sergeant. 

Hundreds of people fled the crowded Borderline Bar and Grill, about 40 miles west of Los Angeles, where College Night was taking place.

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean identified the gunman, who later killed himself, as Ian David Long, 28, a Marine veteran, from Newbury Park, a town inside the Thousand Oaks city limits.

More: ‘Horrific scene’: 12 dead in Thousand Oaks, California, bar shooting; shooter identified as Ian David Long

More: ‘He died a hero’: Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus among those killed in Thousand Oaks bar shooting

More: What we know about the mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks, California, dance bar

More: Thousand Oaks shooting ‘Nothing short of tragedy,’ Gavin Newsom says, as lawmakers call for action

Celebrities took to social media Thursday to express their grief and condolences.

NBA star LeBron James tweeted his “thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones last night in Thousand Oaks, CA.”

The Los Angeles Lakers also made a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims, families and those affected by the terrible tragedy last night in Thousand Oaks, CA,” the organization wrote on Twitter. 

Other athletes and professional sports teams also offered support. The Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Dodgers all issued statements on Twitter.

The Los Angeles Rams, whose practice facility is located at California Lutheran University about 5 miles from Borderline Bar and Grill, issued the following statement on Twitter: 

“The Los Angeles Rams organization is heartbroken by the horrific shooting that took place last night in our community of Thousand Oaks. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and our entire community.” 

Various Rams players, including captains Andrew Whitworth and Johnny Hekker, and Jared Goff, wrote their own messages.

Pop star Britney Spears also tweeted Thursday morning. “Last night, people went to the #Borderline with their friends to just have fun and sadly not everyone made it home because of senseless gun violence,” Spears wrote. “Praying for the victims and their families.”

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres offered her thoughts on Twitter as well. “Another senseless act,” she wrote. “13 dead in another mass shooting. Families devastated by violence. Again. My heart is with the people of Thousand Oaks, and with everyone fighting to make change.”

John Rich, one half of the country duo Big and Rich, shared his thoughts. “Waking up in NYC to the terrible news in California that 12 were killed in a country bar last night,” Rich wrote. “1 officer killed in the line of duty as he ran toward the shooter to save lives. Join me in asking the Holy Spirit to pull those families close this morning.”

Actor Josh Gad tweeted “We are on a hamster wheel of insanity. Another day of grief. Another day of outrage. Another day of families unnecessarily learning their loved ones are dead. But, don’t worry, I remember from all of the other times we’ve done this…”guns aren’t the problem.” 

Composer and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda responded to Gad with his own message. “My heart breaks for Thousand Oaks today,” Miranda wrote. “My heart is dust from being broken for so many places in our country so many times.”

After entrepreneur and activist Michael Skolnik tweeted “The #BorderLineShooting in Thousand Oaks, California is the 304th mass shooting in America this year,” author and advocate Chelsea Clinton shared a simple response: “Today is the 312th day of the year.”

Singer and actress Audra McDonald said: “No more thoughts and prayers. Action. Please Action. And don’t @ me with “it’s too soon” There is never a moment to recover from one mass shooting before the next one occurs. Action. Action.”

The shooting left “The Real” host and “Sister, Sister” star Tamera Mowry-Housley devastated after she discovered her 18-year-old niece was one of the victims. 

A statement issued to USA TODAY on behalf of Mowry-Housley and her husband, former Fox News correspondent Adam Housley, confirmed their niece was a victim in the mass shooting. 

More: Tamera Mowry-Housley and husband reveal niece died in Thousand Oaks shooting

“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,” the couple stated via their joint representative, Chantal Artur. “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.”

Earlier Thursday, the couple took to social media to frantically look for Alaina.

Responding to a tweet about a person’s missing suitemate, Mowry-Housley wrote: “This is her aunt Tamera Mowry Housley. Can you please DM me your information?”

The suitemate then tweeted that she’d been in contact with “Adam,” Mowry-Housley’s husband, and Alaina was the only one out of “a handful of girls (who) went to line dance tonight” who are unaccounted for.

Housley, meanwhile, asked his nearly 100,000 Twitter followers for prayers.

“Please pray if you believe….pray,” later telling them the prayers were for his niece, who he described as “A beautiful soul.”

His wife’s twin and “Sister, Sister” co-star, Tia Mowry, shared her anguish on Twitter.

“Woke up shocked,” she shared. “Please pray. Please pray. I am numb.”

She later shared an Instagram photo and asked her followers to share any information they may have. 

“Alaina Housely we are praying. We love u! If you know anything or any information please let us know. We love you! #borderline,” Mowry wrote.

Kristin Scharkey is the editor of DESERT magazine and community content editor at The Desert Sun. Reach her at kristin.scharkey@desertsun.com or on Twitter @kscharkey. USA TODAY and VC Star contributed to this report. 

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