It was "College Country Night" at the packed Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, on Wednesday night when a gunman came in, reportedly wearing black clothing and throwing smoke grenades, and opened fire. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said early Thursday that at least 13 people are dead, including the gunman and Ventura Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, who died in the hospital. About 10 other people were shot and wounded in the mass shooting, about 40 miles west of Los Angeles.
Borderline is a music venue with a dance floor for line dancing and two-stepping, the Los Angeles Times reports, and several of the people who survived last year's mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas were also at Borderline for this shooting. "A lot of people in the Route 91 situation go here," Chandler Gunn, 23, tells the Times. "There's people that live a whole lifetime without seeing this, and then there's people that have seen it twice." His friend who works at Borderline survived this shooting as well.
Carl Edgar, 24, said about 20 of his friends were in Borderline during the shooting. "As far as I know, all of my friends are okay, safe," he told the Times. "There are a few people we can't get a hold of, but in these situations people usually turn off their phones to be safe so I'm not gonna get too worried. A lot of my friends survived Route 91. If they survived that, they'll survive this." Savannah Stafseth said the bar was "insanely crowded" with college kids and the gunfire was "rapid" and "really loud."
"There are no words. Those are my people. It's just not fair. It's not fair," Stafseth said. "All these people after Route 91. It's not fair." You can read more about the intersection of the two mass shootings at the Los Angeles Times. Peter Weber