Was the Borderline Bar Shooter Identified as a Middle Eastern Man Named Abu Al-Hom Kreuzi?

As a community reeled in the aftermath of a mass shooting that left 13 people dead, a baseless, Islamophobic, fear-mongering rumor about the identity of the shooter was floated online.

  • Published 8 November 2018
  • Updated 9 November 2018

Claim

The shooter who killed a dozen people at a bar in California in November 2018 was identified as Abu Al-Hom Kreuzi.

Rating

Origin

On 7 November 2018, a man entered Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, and fatally shot twelve people. As law enforcement officials and emergency responders rushed to the scene in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, an Islamophobic and fear-mongering rumor began to circulate on social media about the identify of the shooter.

Twitter user @ImPeterGriffinn (whose profile picture depicts the stripes of the American flag as guns), for instance, posted a photograph which supposedly showed the shooter and claimed that the gunman had been identified as a 28-year-old named Abu Al-Hom Kreuzi:

Griffin eventually deleted that tweet, but he wasn’t the only one to promulgate this baseless rumor. According to Charles Seife, a journalism professor at New York University who tracks the spread of online disinformation, this rumor originated with the Twitter account “Republican Lives Matter.” That tweet was also deleted but a screenshot can be glimpsed below: 

The rumor that the Borderline Bar shooter had been identified as a Middle Eastern man named Abu al-Hom Kreuzi did not originate with law enforcement officials or a credible news report. This claim was made up out of whole cloth by a group of internet trolls in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting that left 13 people (including the shooter) dead.

The actual suspect identified by police was a 28-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran named David Long:

Ian David Long, 28, has been identified as the suspected gunman in the mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks nightclub.

The shooting happened inside Borderline Bar & Grill. At least a dozen people were killed, including a sheriff’s sergeant, Ron Helus. None of the other victims have been identified.

Thursday morning, authorities said the gunman was found dead inside the nightclub. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said investigators believe Long fatally shot himself.

A motive for the shooting is still unclear. Neighbors told investigators that Long was a veteran and may have suffered from PTSD:

Investigators knocked on doors of surrounding residents to find out what they may know about Long. One neighbor who knew Long said he was a veteran who suffered from PTSD. She said, “I don’t know what he was doing with a gun.” Others said Long lived at the home with his mother.

Snopes.com
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

Editorial
  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
Operations
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort
  • Elyssa Young

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes