Borderline Bar & Grill Honors Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting Victims With Tree Lighting Ceremony
Borderline Bar & Grill, the Thousand Oaks, Calif. venue where 12 people died in a mass shooting in November 2018, opened its doors to the public for the first time since the tragedy on Sunday night (July 21). TMZ reports that community members gathered around a ceremonially lit oak tree on the bar's property to honor those who lost their lives in the event.
Borderline shared an image of the tree on Instagram, captioning it simply "#BorderlineStrong." According to TMZ, bar owner Brian Haynes indicated that the tree will remain lit in memory of the tragedy that took place there, as well as to offer survivors still grieving a place to gather and comfort one another.
During the Sunday night gathering, attendees line danced and listened to country music, and also sang a rendition of Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places." The massacre took place during a "college country night" that Borderline was hosting. With the exception of the tree lighting ceremony and memorial, the venue will remain closed.
Immediately following the tragedy, CNN reported that several hundred people were present when shooting broke out at around 11:20PM local time. Some of those in attendance were also at the mass shooting that took place at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in October 2017, just over a year earlier.
Authorities reported that the shooter was 28-year-old Marine Corps veteran Ian David Long of Newbury Park, Calif., who died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene. (He is not counted among the 12 victims.) Among those who lost their lives in the tragedy was Sgt. Ron Helus, a police officer who was one of the two first responders to the scene, and was shot and killed after entering the venue.
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