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Ex-Coach Says Warnings About Gunman Were Ignored

She says he was a 'ticking time bomb'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 12, 2018 2:45 AM CST
Former high school track coach Evie Cluke talks about her interactions with Ian David Long during an interview near her home in Montclair, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018,   (AP Photo/Amanda Lee Myers)
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(Newser) – A second high school coach of the gunman who killed 12 people at a Southern California bar recalled him on Sunday as volatile and intimidating, and said that repeated complaints to school administrators about his behavior failed to prompt any discipline. Evie Cluke coached Ian David Long on Newbury Park High School's track team in 2007 and 2008. She tells the AP that Long was a "ticking time bomb" who constantly lost his temper, threw tantrums, and would scream at coaches when he didn't like their decisions. She said she once witnessed him assault a fellow coach. That coach, Dominique Colell, says Long grabbed her rear and midsection after she refused to return a cellphone. Another time, he used his hand to mimic shooting her, Colell says, adding that she feared for herself whenever she was around him.

Colell kicked Long off the team after he assaulted her, but she and Cluke say the boy's track coach urged her to reconsider because that could compromise Long's goal of joining the Marines. The head track coach, Cluke says, reversed Colell's decision to throw Long off the team and told her she didn't have that authority, while the now-retired principal brushed it aside as a one-time incident. Cluke says that when she and her father sat down with Long and asked him why he wanted to join the military, he gave the "chilling" answer that he "wanted to kill for our country." She says if other coaches and school administrators had acted following complaints about Long, "he could've gotten help and 12 innocent people wouldn't be dead now." (Long posted a message on social media during the rampage.)


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