A masked gunman stormed a packed country dance bar in Southern California on Wednesday evening, shooting and killing at least 12 people.

Around 11:20 p.m., the shooter entered the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, a city approximately 40 miles west of Los Angeles. Law enforcement officers say that he first used a smoke device to disorient the bar’s patrons and then proceeded to randomly fire a .45-caliber handgun, killing as many people as he could. The patrons used everything that could get their hands on to flee the massacre. Bar stools were thrown at windows so people could escape.

“It’s a horrific scene in there. There’s blood everywhere,” said Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean.

The country bar is a popular venue for university students from numerous nearby institutions, such as the California Lutheran University, California State University Channel Islands, Pepperdine University, and Moorpark College.