When the latest tragic American mass shooting unfolded early Thursday in Thousand Oaks, Calif., an entire community reacted with horror and revulsion. For one woman, there was also a strong tinge of deja vu.
That’s because the atrocities allegedly committed by Ian David Long, a U.S. Marines veteran, were foreshadowed by the way he treated Dominique Colell, his high school track and field coach at Newbury Park (Calif.) High School.
“He attacked me. He attacked his high school track coach,” Colell told Los Angeles CBS affiliate KCAL. “Who does that?”
Colell said she found a phone and that Long attempted to take it from her.
“Ian came up and started screaming at me that it was his phone. 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.’”
While many have cited Long’s military service as a possible catalyst for his mental illness and, eventually, the shooting, Colell isn’t buying it. Instead, she’s insisting that he was always mentally unstable.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people with PTSD,” Colell said. “They don’t go around shooting people. This kid was mentally disturbed in high school. There were signs and the administration knew it.”