THOUSAND OAKS, CA — 50 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles is the site of America’s most recent mass shooting.
Ian David Long, a 28-year old Marine veteran, shot his way into the Borderline Grill during a college night, killing 12 people — including a Ventura County Sheriff’s sergeant — before investigators believe the gunman turned the gun on himself.
Among the victims is Filipina American Pepperdine University student, Alaina Housley.
About 200 people were believed to be in the country music bar, Borderline; many of them students from the nearby colleges.
Students were seen trying to escape from the venue as the assailant opened fire. Schools and families have been trying to account for the students throughout the day.
This teen center was serving as the reunification center, but unfortunately for some families, it’s where the next of kin have been getting notified.
“I talked to him last night the last thing I said before he headed out the door, I said don’t drink and drive. This is not gonna be easy.”
As parents were receiving the news, Filipino students were among those in mourning at Cal Lutheran, just a few miles from the cemetery of the crime.
Many of the students frequent Borderline, and the campus held a prayer service remembering them.
Freeways were also shut down as a procession was held for Sgt. Ron Helus, the officer killed in the shooting.
Thousand Oaks California
What makes this latest mass shooting more tragic and shocking is that Thousand Oaks is considered one of America’s safest cities, but on this evening, the act of a lone gunman proved that tragedy does not consider such accolades and this violence can happen anywhere.
As flags will fly half-staff, and several vigils take place in the area, all the schools in the region will have counseling on site.