(Thousand Oaks, Ca) On Wednesday, November 7, several hundred people were inside Borderline Bar and Grill for Country College Night.
Borderline claims to be “the county’s Largest Country Dance Hall & Live Music Venue.”
At approximately 11:20 PM, Ian David Long, a 28-year-old Marine veteran entered Borderline and began shooting with a legally purchased Glock 21 accessorized with an illegal extended magazine.
He shot a security guard and another employee before proceeding to fire at the dance floor.
After shooting for several minutes, Long turned the gun on himself.
Long was recently assessed by a mental health specialist who did not see reason for further psychiatric evaluation.
By the time police arrived on scene, they “found people hiding in restrooms, people hiding in attics,” Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said. “There [was] blood everywhere.”
Remembering the Victims of the Borderline Bar & Grill Shooting
Matt Wennerstrom, 20, who visits Borderline at least once a week, said he and other patrons used bar stools to break open a window to help people escape. “We were just shuffling as many people out as we could,” he said.
“[I] looked over to where the noise was coming from,” Wennerstrom continued, “and saw a tall, black figure with a handgun opening fire on employees working at the front desk.”
12 others died because of this shooting.
The victims were all local individuals, many of whom knew each other.
Alaina Housley, 18, was a freshman at Pepperdine. She planned to major in English literature and enjoyed playing soccer, serving on her high school student government and playing violin.
Her aunt Tamera Mowry-Housley reflects on their times “serenading at the piano” together. Alaina’s uncle Adam Housley posts on behalf of her parents that they “want to honor Alaina by focusing on how she lived her life.”
Noel Sparks, 21, was a Moorpark college art student. She loved working with kids, animals and nature. She led worship at Calvary Community Church. (In the spirit of full disclosure, Noel Sparks was a close friend of mine.)
Her father, Tony Sparks, said on Facebook, that he and his wife “were blessed for 21 years, to take care of a beautiful girl while she did her work with us all.”
Jake Dunham, 21, and his best friend Blake Dingman, also 21, loved off-roading. They often went out on off-road adventures with their friends.
Dunham was quoted as being “the life of the party,” by one friend.
Dingman, had just been offered a job, according to his family. He loved working on cars and motorcycles.
Dingman and Dunham celebrated every Fourth of July with a drive through Ventura and LA counties showing off American flags in the beds of their trucks.
Sean Adler, 48, worked as a bouncer at Borderline and a coach at Royal High School. He had recently opened Rivalry Roasters in Simi Valley. He left behind two sons.
Friends were quoted as saying, “Even when things were crashing around him, he still managed to stay upbeat.”
Kristina Morisette, 20, worked at Borderline’s front desk. She had recently bought her first car and was looking forward to an animal training program in Austin.
Many regulars flooded her Facebook in the days following the shooting, claiming her smile made them feel welcome as the “face of Borderline.”
Telemachus Orfanos, 27, worked at Borderline but was not working Wednesday. He also served in the Navy for 2.5 years.
Orfanos survived the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas.
One friend remembered Orfanos, “You sure did have the best one liners and boy did they make me laugh.”
Mark Meza, 20, worked as a busboy and food runner at Borderline. His family said in a prepared statement, “Marky was a genuine light everywhere he went.”
They mourn that he was several weeks shy of his 21st birthday.
Sergeant Ron Helus was a 29-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department who was planning on retiring next year. Helus was the first officer to enter the scene where he exchanged gunfire with the subject.
He left behind a son whom he enjoyed fishing with, reminisces a fellow Sergeant. Helus spoke to his wife moments before rushing into Borderline.
Cody Coffman, 22, spoke to his father before leaving the house, where Jason Coffman said, “Son, I love you.”
Coffman enjoyed fishing with his father and playing baseball with his two younger brothers. He was planning to join the army and was looking forward to the arrival of a baby sister.
Justin Meek, 23, worked as a security guard at Borderline. He was an Eagle Scout and Cal Lutheran alumni with a major in criminal justice.
As a singer for Disney venues, he dreamed of singing with his girlfriend at Disneyland’s Club 33, according to the owner of the production company Meek sang with.
Witnesses reported that Meek jumped in front of his sister and other patrons to shield them.
Daniel Manrique, 33, was a former Marine Corps radio operator. He was known for helping other veterans with any assistance they needed.
Manrique was a spokesperson for the non-profit group ‘Team Red, White and Blue’ which helps veterans transition.
He and a friend were planning to open a veteran-oriented brewery.
A friend said of Manrique, “He never quit on people…. He always still reached out.”
The news shocked the community of Las Vegas shooting survivors who have grown to be known as the Route 91 Family, who sometimes met at Borderline to help each other heal.
Many Thousand Oaks citizens mourned the loss in their tight-knit community.
As fires began to threaten nearby homes in the days after the shooting, citizens of Thousand Oaks still gathered to remember the victims.
Vigils were held at the Thousand Oaks Civic Art Plaza, Cal Lutheran University, Rivalry Roasters and Moorpark College as well as several local churches.
CLU canceled classes for Thursday and Friday to allow students to recover.
Lines went around the block by La Reina High School as locals waited for hours to donate blood.
The Clippers made shirts for their first game following the shooting that said “Enough” on the front and listed the names of the victims on the backs.
The Country Music Awards began their show Wednesday, November 14, with a listing of the victims’ names and a dedication to the victims.
President Donald Trump ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset Saturday.
Brian Hynes, owner of Borderline, said through his lawyer that he’d like to have the location up and running again as soon as the investigation is complete.
Chicago carpenter Greg Zanis created 12 crosses which were placed outside Borderline to remember the victims.
Locals have visited and brought pictures and flowers to remember each victim by their cross.
Some turn to religion; others turn to demands for gun control or education on mental health issues. Regardless which issue citizens grasp in this time, the city of Thousand Oaks has been shaken to its core.
As the 308th American shooting in 2018, according to Gun Violence Archive, this mass shooting is one that nobody will soon forget.
Ventura County Local News. Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Ventura, Santa Paula, Moorpark. Visit us for the latest local news information for Ventura County at www.thevoicecalifornia.com