There were reportedly survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting at the Thousand Oaks shooting
The Borderline Bar & Grill is described as the largest country dance hall and live music venue in Ventura County. It's known as a favorite spot for line dancing in Thousand Oaks, California, an affluent city located 45 miles from Los Angeles. On Wednesday, the venue hosted "college country night," attracting hundreds of young people to drink and dance.
At around 11:20 p.m., a lone gunman armed with a .45 caliber Glock shot the security guard outside. He then entered the bar and opened fire on the innocent bystanders, killing 12 people, including a police officer. The suspect has been identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a former Marine with a history of mental health issues. Authorities say he was killed inside the venue.
In a disturbing coincidence, it's been reported that some survivors of the Thousand Oaks shooting also survived the Las Vegas shooting nearly a year ago. In October 2017, a lone gunman opened fire from his hotel high-rise on a crowd of 22,000 country music fans at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The suspect, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, killed 58 people, the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.
Molly Maurer was among those who survived the Vegas massacre, and was present at Borderline when gunfire erupted. The next morning, she posted on Facebook, "I can't believe I'm saying this again. I'm alive and home safe." She told BuzzFeed News that after the shooting she desperately tracked down her friends who were also at the bar. "I've been going [to Borderline] for like seven years, you kind of just tend to get to know everyone," she stated.
Nicholas Champion told WPRI 12 that he survived both shooting massacres, and estimates many Route 91 survivors were also at Borderline. "I was at the Las Vegas Route 91 mass shooting, as well as probably 50 or 60 others who were in the building at the same time as me tonight," said Champion. "It's a big thing for us, we all are a big family, and unfortunately this family got hit twice."
Another member of this family, 22-year-old Marine Brendan Kelly, immediately recognized the sound of gunfire, thanks to his military training. "As soon as I identified where the target was, or where the threat was, I grabbed at least two people around me and yanked them as hard as I could to get to the nearest exit," Kelly told ABC7. After surviving the Vegas massacre, he has to cope with surviving a shooting at a bar just down the street from where he lives.
"It's too close to home," said Kelly. "Borderline was our safe space... our home for the probably 30 or 45 of us who are all from the greater Ventura County area who were in Vegas. That was our place where we went to the following week, three nights in a row just so we could be with each other." When asked how he was able to survive two mass shootings, he said, "Only thing I can attribute it to is God."
Carl Edgar, 24, told the Los Angeles Times that he is trying to account for friends who were at Borderline when the rampage began. "There are a few people we can’t get ahold of, but in these situations people usually turn off their phones to be safe, so I’m not gonna get too worried," said Edgar. "A lot of my friends survived Route 91. If they survived that, they will survive this."