A vigil Thursday night for the victims of the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks was so packed that ushers barred people from entering the auditorium.
Those left outside pressed their faces against the glass doors, trying to watch the service on the TV in the overflow room. As the winds picked up, they zipped up their jackets and hugged their arms to their chests, but they didn’t leave — a show of solidarity with a city touched by tragedy.
Nearby, a group of mourners linked hands and sang “Amazing Grace” under oak trees strung with lights. Inside the auditorium, people gripped battery-powered candles and wiped away tears as they remembered the 12 people who had been killed the night before at Borderline Bar and Grill.
Ventura County sheriff's Sgt. Eric Buschow said Saturday that three people have been arrested for suspicious activity in North Ranch, an upscale area near Westlake Boulevard and Kanan Road that was evacuated under threat of fire.
Residents reported a man walking around the neighborhood. He was arrested on suspicion of prowling and being in an evacuated area. In the second incident, officers spotted a car driving around. That began a short pursuit after the driver ignored orders to pull over.
“During the pursuit they were throwing out drugs,” Buschow said.
On Wednesday night, Kyle Jorrey looked over the final version of the newspaper and decided it was ready for print. It had been a long day of reporting after the local elections, and he told his staff he might take Thursday off.
Jorrey is the editor of the Thousand Oaks Acorn, a weekly paper that comes out every Thursday. The paper is part of a family of publications that covers nearby communities, including Simi Valley, Camarillo and Agoura Hills.
But after Jorrey got home, he heard about the Borderline shooting. He rushed to the scene and worked till 4 a.m. to get a story up on the paper’s website. He then texted his two reporters: “When you wake up tomorrow, you’re going to be facing the biggest story you’ve ever faced.”
Firefighters battled through the night into Saturday morning to save communities from the raging Woolsey fire, which has exploded to 70,000 acres, destroyed scores of homes and forced 250,000 people to evacuate across a wide swath of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
The fire spread in several directions, burning homes in Malibu, Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks while threatening parts of Simi Valley, West Hills and numerous Ventura County communities. The fire doubled in size since Friday afternoon.
President Trump on Saturday once again attacked California during destructive wildfires, using erroneous claims.
He said poor forest management policies caused the fires plaguing the state, even though the massive Woolsey fire didn’t occur in a forest.
“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!” Trump wrote.
Firefighters staged an all-out fight overnight to save Pepperdine University in Malibu, where hundreds of students and staff were sheltering in place.
The all-out attack by air and on the ground appears to have prevented any major damage. While some outbuildings may have been damaged, the university said no permanent structures were lost. It was a tense night, with those on campus sheltering in several buildings, including the library, as the firefight occurred.
At Zuma Beach, the Pacific Ocean was obscured by smoke. Horses, dogs and Southern Californians displaced by raging wildfires Friday sought refuge on the sand. The dress code called for protective face masks, not wetsuits.
In Thousand Oaks, many of those still reeling from Wednesday’s mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill fled their homes with whatever they could grab on their way to safety.
Crowded shelters turned away panicky evacuees for lack of space. Freeways were closed. Pepperdine University students awoke to texts ordering them to shelter in place.