CBS Los Angeles

BTW

Days after the Thousand Oaks, California, shooting left 12 dead, the gunman’s high school track coach says that he sexually assaulted her during his senior year.

Dominique Colell coached Ian David Long at Newbury Park High School around a decade ago. During his senior year, a student came up to her with a lost cellphone, and she began looking through it to figure out its owner. She says Long ran up to her and became belligerent, demanding she hand over the phone.

“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.'”

Colell kicked Long off the team as a result. She also says he was aggressive and “mentally disturbed” as far back as high school.

“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.”

Colell says she was pressured by the school to let Long back on the team and avoid filing charges against him out of fear that it would impact his future with the Marines. In retrospect, she wishes she had reported him and spoken out.

“I turned on the news and I was watching it and when they said his name my jaw just dropped,” Colell told CBS.

Since the report, Twitter users have shared Colell’s story. For them, her allegation is proof that schools should never cast a blind eye to teenage boys who commit predatory behavior.

Over the past few days, Twitter users have also pointed out that authorities, the media, and even the president keep blaming PTSD for the shooting. Doing so simultaneously stigmatizes those with trauma-based disorders while casting white, male shooters as tortured souls who turn to violence for release.

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Meanwhile, conservative conspiracy theorists are trying to downplay Long’s race by falsely claiming he is Middle Eastern. In reality, Long is white, like most mass shooters. Also, like many mass shooter, he seems to have a history of violence against women.

H/T Sam Gavin

Ana Valens

Ana Valens

Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.