First witnesses to speak after California killings say shooter was equipped with smoke bombs & survivors hid in bathroom

The Californian bar gunman threw smoke bombs and survivors locked themselves in the women’s bathroom to hide and ring family, it emerged today (Thurs).

Tiffany Smith, 36, told loved ones she was on the dance floor when the room filled with smoke and she heard “bangs”.

She said the shooter, who was armed with a handgun, took out the doorman before storming the bar while patrons ran for the back exit.

Her brother Thad said she fell to the floor but was pulled into the nearby women’s’ bathroom by a man.

Two men held the door shut while the packed bathroom called their loved ones.

Thad, a welder from Alban, Alabama, got a call from hysterical Tiffany from the bathroom.

He said: “To tell you the truth when she first got on the phone I couldn’t understand her.
It was so loud. I could just hear girls screaming.

“Once I got to understanding her she said there was a shooter and that she was in the bathroom.

“She said she was phoning me to say that she loved me and that she’d tried calling my mother but couldn’t get through, and she wanted me to get in touch with her.

“I’ve spoken to her since and she said that she was on the dance floor and she heard a pop.

“Somebody screamed ‘everyone get down’. Everyone took off and she got knocked to the ground.

“A guy grabbed her and another girl and pulled them into the girls’ bathroom.

“They packed a lot of people in there and two guys got up against the door, but the guy didn’t try and get into the bathroom.

“I could here there was a lot of crying going on.

“She asked me what to do. I told her to go and crouch and hide behind the toilet.

“I believe they were in there for about an hour. Once she was out she was just so thankful. She’s being interviewed by the police with the other witnesses.

“The police barricaded the place off because they weren’t sure if the shooter was still alive inside. The guy killed himself inside the bar.”

He added: “She said she heard a big bang from the front of the bar at first.

“By the time she had turned around everyone had started screaming.

“Someone said ‘get down’ and everyone did the exact opposite.

“People started running for the back door.

“That’s when she got knocked down and a guy beside her grabbed her and another girl and pulled them into the bathroom.

“She said the bathroom was packed.

“He had a handgun. Apparently he had some kind of smoke device that he had thrown into the bar when he first came in.

“That was the first thing he did was threw this smoke bomb through the front door.

“The guy on the door tried to stop him but he shot him and came in.”

By Laura Elvin

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