A SWAT team from the Ventura County Sherrif’s Department, arrived within minutes, along with the FBI and other officers to find the bar strewn with bodies, survivors huddling in terror, and others desperately trying to get out.
“They found people hiding in restrooms, people hiding in attics,” Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said. Other witnesses described people using bar stools to break windows and escape.
Alexis Tait, 23, said she heard what sounded like firecrackers going off until she saw her friend Kristina Kaylee Morisette fall to the floor – one of a dozen people the gunman killed.
Tait, who says she’s a regular at the bar, then saw people huddled by a mirror and window and fled there.
“We were all bodies on top of each other and as soon as we saw him (the shooter) walk … into the other part of the bar, everyone bolted as fast as they could to get out,” Tait said.
Tait said she also saw people break windows with bar stools and jump out.
“We all just trampled and tried to get out,” Tait said. “All we could think about was like we need to get out.”