A second woman who coached the 28-year-old gunman who killed 12 people in a Thousand Oaks, California bar before shooting himself—says he was volatile and intimidating as a student and claims the school administrators did nothing about it.
The Associated Press reports that Evie Cluke was Ian David Long’s track coach at Newbury Park High School from 2007-2008. Cluke described Long as a “ticking time bomb” who “constantly lost his temper, threw tantrums and would scream at coaches when he didn’t like their decisions.”
“He was out of control,” said Cluke. “He would scream and cuss and his face would turn bright red and people would actually back away from him.”
She also witnessed Long assault fellow coach Dominique Colell.
Last week, Colell told a local CBS affiliate KCAL9 that Long assaulted her when he was a senior at the high school.
Colell says it happened during practice when someone found a phone and she was trying to figure out who it belonged to.
“Ian came up and started screaming at me that was his phone,” said Colell. “He just started grabbing me. He groped my stomach. He groped my butt. I pushed him off me and said after that — ‘you’re off the team.’ ”
But the head coach reversed Colell’s decision, claiming she didn’t have the authority to kick him off the team. Colell was also told to accept an apology as to not ruin his dreams of joining the Marine Corps. The principal at the time was convinced it was a one-time incident and didn’t bother to probe further.
Colell said Long also pretended to shoot her, using his hand to mimic the blow. Cluke witnessed this as well and said Colell “turned pale as a ghost.”
Cluke blames that inaction for the deaths that occurred at Borderline Bar & Grill on November 7. She and her father—who also coached track—repeatedly warned school officials about Long’s behavioral problems, but their complaints were ignored. According to Cluke, school officials usually responded with something to the effect of, “‘Well, he’s got a good heart he’ll be fine. Just talk to him.’”
Long became a machine gunner in the Marines after high school, but Cluke found his reasoning for joining the Marines alarming.
From the AP:
Cluke recalled a time when she and her father sat down with Long for a talk and asked him why he wanted to join the military. His answer, she said, “is burned in my soul.”
“He said he wanted to be in the Marines because he wanted to go fight in the war for our country and he wanted to kill for our country,” she said. “When you hear somebody say they want to be in the military because they want to kill people in the name of our country, that’s chilling. It chilled me right down to my bones.”
Who could have seen this coming?