‘I heard the gunshot’: Witnesses recount California shooting
For some of the people who were inside the Borderline Bar and Grill Wednesday night in Thousand Oaks, Calif., being caught in the middle of a mass shooting was a tragically familiar feeling.
Multiple reports say some people who were at the bar when a shooter killed at least 12 people Wednesday night had survived the Las Vegas shooting at the Route 91 country music festival, where Stephen Paddock fired at the crowd from his hotel room in 2017, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds.
“I was at Route 91 and I know many people there last night were, too,” 24-year-old Jessica Maldoon said, according to Buzzfeed News. “This hit way too close to home.”
The site reported that the bar, which was hosting a college night country music party Wednesday, had become a place of gathering for some survivors of the carnage in Las Vegas.
“Borderline meant a lot to us before Route 91, and ever more afterwards,” Maldoon said, according to Buzzfeed News. “They rallied around us, hosting memorials, fundraiser events for the victims, always reminding us that we are Borderline and country music family.”
The venue held a “Country Strong” benefit night after the Las Vegas shooting, according to its Facebook page.
Police said the suspect in the shooting Wednesday night was Ian David Long, a 28-year-old Marine veteran who used a .45 caliber Glock handgun, McClatchy previously reported. Sheriff Geoff Dean said he had “no idea” what the motive may be.
“It appears he walked up to the scene... He shot the security guard ... He stepped inside... It appears he turned to the right and shot several of the other security and other employees there ... then began opening fire inside the nightclub,” Dean said at a news conference.
A sheriff’s deputy, Sgt. Ron Helus, arrived at the scene with a California Highway Patrol officer and was shot multiple times. He died at the hospital.
Dean said the slain deputy was on the phone with his wife before telling her he had to go respond to a scene. “We lost a hero,” Dean said. “He went in there to try to save people.”
Chris Weber said he knew many of the people in the club had survived the night in Las Vegas, and spent the early hours Thursday trying to get in touch with some of them, the New York Times reported.
Nicholas Champion, a witness to the shooting, said he and others had been at Route 91 during the shooting, CBS News reported.
“It’s the second time in about a year and a month that this has happened,” he said, according to the station. “It’s a big thing for us. We’re all a big family and unfortunately this family got hit twice.”
For Savannah Stafseth, who was outside the club when the shooting started, there were “no words,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
“Those are my people. It’s just not fair. It’s not fair,” she said, according to the paper. “All these people after Route 91. It’s not fair.”