Report: Some Borderline Bar Shooting Survivors Also Survived Route 91 Mass Shooting
Multiple media outlets are reporting that some of the same people who survived the mass shooting at a country bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Wednesday night (Nov. 7) also survived the mass shooting that took place at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in October of 2017.
Twelve people died when a lone gunman walked into the Borderline Bar & Grill, set off a smoke device and started shooting into the people who were crowded into the bar for a college country night. At least one more person suffered a gunshot, and some estimates say more than 15 others sustained other injuries while attempting to flee from the chaos.
Several people who got away from the Borderline massacre had also lived through the Vegas mass shooting, in which a lone gunman opened fire on the crowd from his motel room, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds more in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Twenty-three-year-old Chandler Gunn tells the Los Angeles Times that he rushed to the Borderline bar when he heard about the shooting, and he called a friend of his who works there. That friend has also been present during the Vegas shooting, and she told him that a gunman had thrown some form of tear gas into the bar before opening fire. She was able to escape.
“A lot of people in the Route 91 situation go here,” he tells the Times. “There’s people that live a whole lifetime without seeing this, and then there’s people that have seen it twice.”
Josh Coaly, 27, also told the Times that he had a friend inside the bar who survived both attacks, as did 24-year-old Carl Edgar. "A lot of my friends survived Route 91. If they survived that, they’ll survive this," Edgar states.
Nicholas Champion tells CBS News that he and a group of people who were at the Borderline when the shooting took place had also survived the Route 91 shooting spree.
"It's the second time in about a year and a month that this has happened," he says. "It's a big thing for us. We're all a big family and unfortunately this family got hit twice."
Ventura County Sgt. Ron Helus was one of the first law enforcement officers on the scene, and he died after suffering multiple wounds while trying to stop the shooting rampage. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean lauded Sgt. Helus, choking back tears as he talked about his bravery in responding to the Borderline within minutes of the first reports of gunfire.
"He gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero," Dean said (quote via NBC News). "He went in to save lives, to save people."
The gunman has been identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a Marine veteran with PTSD. He was found dead at the scene, and authorities believe he took his own life. Sheriff Dean says Long used a Glock 21 to conduct the mass shooting. The .45-caliber handgun is designed to hold 10 rounds plus one in the chamber, according to the AP, but Long's gun was fitted with an extended magazine that is illegal in the state of California. That modification allowed him to shoot and kill more people more efficiently, not unlike the bump-stock devices Route 91 shooter Stephen Paddock used to modify his semi-automatic rifles.
Borderline Bar & Grill's website lists John Rich, Collin Raye, Mark Chesnutt, Lee Brice and Tyler Farr among the artists who have performed there. Rich was one of the country artists who responded to the tragedy on Twitter Thursday morning, along with Charlie Daniels, Morgan Wallen. LeAnn Rimes, Margo Price and more.
Country Stars React to the Mass Shooting in California