Less than 48 hours after Ian David Long killed 12 people at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, Long’s high school track coach came forward alleging he sexually assaulted her his senior year.
Dominique Colell coached Long at Newbury Park High School a decade ago. During one class period, Colell was given a lost cell phone by another student. While trying to figure out who it belonged to, she says Long harassed her and groped her while aggressively asking for his phone back.
“Ian came up and started screaming at me that that was his phone, and I said, ‘Hold on, I’m not giving you this phone, I don’t know whose phone this is,'” Colell told CBS Los Angeles. “I’m pretty strict as a coach. And he just started grabbing me. He groped my butt, he groped my stomach, he went around me, I pushed him off me, and I said, ‘I’m not giving you this cell phone, get off.'”
Long entered the Borderline Bar & Grill on Wednesday night and used a Glock 21 handgun with an extended magazine to attack patrons of the club attending its regular “College Country Nights." Some reports suggest Long suffered from PTSD following his service as a Marine, but Colell claims he was “mentally disturbed” in high school.
Others who knew Long claim the attack was motivated by revenge, rather than his mental state. TMZ reports Long posted a message to Instagram while carrying out the shooting as evidence to back up that assumption. It’s unclear what the post said because it was deleted by investigators. Long was reportedly bullied in high school, and some of his former classmates were regulars at the bar.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people with PTSD. They don’t go around shooting people,” Colell said to CBS. “This kid was mentally disturbed in high school. There were signs and the administration knew it.”
She kicked Long off the track team following the assault, but was pressured to reinstate him without pressing charges—a decision she regrets. “I turned on the news and I was watching it and when they said his name my jaw just dropped,” Colell said.
Long is the most recent example of the conspicuous link between sexual/domestic violence and mass shootings. The Parkland shooting, the shooting in Sutherland Springs, and others have proven the need to pay attention abusive and violent behavior on an interpersonal level.