Thousand Oaks mass shooting victims honored at vigil attended by hundreds


Hundreds gathered at the Fred Kavli Auditorium in Thousand Oaks on Thursday night to honor and mourn the victims who were killed during the mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill.

Community members, friends and family members of the 12 victims and survivors of Wednesday night’s shooting were present.

All the seats inside the auditorium, which has a capacity of 1,800, were filled.

A second crowd gathered outside of the auditorium, creating makeshift memorials with flowers and photos as the doors closed for the program.

Brooke Keeling, who was at the bar during the shooting, recalled the moments when the gunman opened fire on the crowd.

“I thought it was balloons popping and before I knew it, people were down,” Keeling said just before the vigil. “We were celebrating our birthdays.”

Brittney Heller, 22, of Thousand Oaks, a regular at the Borderline, was among those gathered outside the auditorium during the ceremony.

Heller said she goes to Borderline every Wednesday and Thursday, but didn’t go the Wednesday of the shooting as she slept through several alarms.

Heller was also friends with Blake Dingman, who was killed during the shooting.

“I saw Blake last week. Happiest kid I ever met. It is so sad to see someone like that taken from us,” Heller said.

Luke Bessolo, 19, an Arizona State University student, was also a regular of the Borderline.

“I used to go to Borderline three times a week. I was a super regular there,” Bessolo said outside the auditorium.

As soon as Bessolo found out about the shooting, he called everyone in the area to find out what was going on. Bessolo said he drove eight hours from Arizona to attend the vigil.

On Wednesday night, a gunman, identified as Ian David Long, 28, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and former CSU Northridge student, opened fire on a crowded bar in Thousand Oaks that was hosting its weekly “college night.” Long shot and killed 12 inside the bar, before allegedly taking his own life.

Among the 12 victims was a Ventura County Sheriff’s Department sergeant, a survivor of the Las Vegas mass shooting, employees of the bar and students of local colleges.

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Source:: Dailynews – News


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