Here’s how to donate blood and support victims of the Thousand Oaks shooting
• The American Red Cross says blood that is already on the shelves helps during emergencies like this one. Still, the need for blood is constant. Those who wish to give blood can visit www.redcrossblood.org to learn more.
• Interested donors can also visit vitalant.org or call (877) 25-VITAL (84825).
• The Rotary Club of Westlake Village, a certified charity on GoFundMe, is accepting donations to support victims.
• The Ventura County Community Foundation, in coordination with the city of Thousand Oaks, California Community Foundation and others, has set up a victim relief and recovery fund.
• Bandits Grill and Bar is hosting a fundraiser to support victims Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 589 N. Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks.
• Engage Therapy at 660 Hampshire Road in Westlake Village is offering free individual and group support to those affected by recent tragedies in the community. For information, call (805) 497-0605.
• Waymakers, a nonprofit crisis relief organization, is offering support services including therapy referrals, emergency assistance, employer notification and intervention, funeral and burial assistance and more. Waymakers’ Victim of Crime Compensation program may be able to help victims pay for expenses such as medical bills, funeral expenses, mental health treatment and lost wages.
For mental health services, Waymakers encourages victims to contact:
- Community Counseling and Supportive Services for free trauma counseling: (714) 645-8000
- SAMHSA’s 24/7 Disaster Distress Helpline for immediate phone crisis counseling: (800) 985-5990
- Crisis Prevention Hotline provides 24/7 services: (877) 7-CRISIS or (877) 727-4747
- Crisis Assessment Team (CAT) for behavioral health crises where a psychiatric evaluation is needed :(866) 830-6011
This post will be updated as more information become available. If you have any resources to contribute to the list, please contact Alexa Díaz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10:45 a.m.: This article was updated with additional information about donation opportunities and available support services.
Emotional interview of Jason Coffman, dad of a shooting victim: ‘I am speechless and heartbroken’
Jason Coffman’s emotional interview after learning his son is one of the victims in the Thousand Oaks mass shooting.
A procession for fallen lawman stirs emotions while a parent urges change in gun laws
Luke Billings raised his right hand to his temple, his body rigid as he braced himself for the wave of emotions that hit him Thursday morning as a hearse carrying Ventura County sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus was set to pull into the Ventura County medical examiner’s office.
A private detective, Billings, 47, said he has many friends in law enforcement and knows the dangers they encounter every day.
“He was a hero,” Billings said of Helus.
As the procession neared and relatives of Helus — some wearing dark sunglasses to hide their eyes — emerged from a sheriff’s van, Billings kept his eyes trained on Helus’ son and prayed for him.
Billings had also been to Borderline and said he knows what it’s like to be on the dance floor, stepping to the music with a beer in hand. Billings said he spent many holiday breaks catching up with friends at that bar
“Country music brings people together,” he said. “It’s cowboy boots, cowboy hat, beer and just a good time.”
Near the scene of the shooting, Grace Fisher of Calabasas held a sign declaring, “Moms demand action for gun sense in America.”
Fisher, who brought her 7-month-old son, grew up in Moorpark and used to hang out at the Borderline in her younger years.
“I have danced on that dance floor,” Fisher said. “I would have been there too if I had been a 20-year-old girl.”
Fisher said lawmakers need to introduce “common sense” gun legislation.
“It’s unacceptable that this keeps continuing to happen. I’m a mother and I think any mom is fearful for their children’s safety anytime they go to school, a bar, a movie theater, a mall,” she said. “Coming out with my sign, which unfortunately has gotten a lot of wear because these things keep happening, is something I can think to do because I can’t just sit there and be sad.”
California leads the nation in mass shooting fatalities
The Thousand Oaks shooting is the eighth mass shooting in the U.S. this year in which four or more victims died, according to data compiled by Mother Jones magazine.
California, the most populous state, also has had more mass shooting fatalities than any other since 1982.
The shooting Wednesday night at the Borderline Bar and Grill left 12 people dead, not including the gunman, and 18 injured.
Fatality figures below do not include the shooter.
Thousand Oaks gunman’s former college roommate: ‘He kept to himself, always had his earbuds in’
A former roommate of the man suspected of entering a crowded nightclub Wednesday night and killing a Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant and at least 12 others before killing himself described the gunman as quiet and reclusive.
Blake Winnett said he lived with Ian Long, 28, for about two years after they met in 2013. The two were roommates in Simi Valley first and then in Reseda while Long studied at Cal State Northridge.
“He wasn’t outgoing or talkative,” Winnett, a set builder, said. “He kept to himself, always had his earbuds in. He went to the gym, went to class, or rode his motorcycle.”
Winnett remembered trying to coax his former roommate into going out for a drink, usually without success.
“He never wanted to go,” he said of Long, though occasionally the two went to bars around Los Angeles and Simi Valley, Winnett couldn’t remember if they ever went to Borderline together — “He’s not really a country guy,” Winnett said — but knew Long had been there before.
Winnett said Long had his quirks. Sometimes, he would hang out in the home’s garage for hours in the 100-degree heat of the San Fernando Valley. He’d listen to electronic dance music and dubstep, dancing alone.
“He did it all by himself,” Winnett said. “Maybe he was just embarrassed by it? But he’d be in the garage for an hour, 100 degrees outside and in the middle of the day.”
At the time, Winnett said, Long was also dabbling in Molly, the recreational drug. Winnett said his former roommate also took painkillers for an injury after a freeway motorcycle accident around 2015
Long had some friends, however, and was dating a girl at the time. His mom was a frequent visitor and “was a sweetheart” toward her son, Winnett said.
“I feel bad for her. She was always there for him,” Winnett added.
On Thursday morning, Winnett was wrestling with his memories and phoning old roommates to figure out how this happened.
Winnett, who last spoke to Long a year ago, said he couldn’t see Long carrying out such a massacre.
Another former roommate told Winnett she had her suspicions.
“She’s like, ‘I always thought if there was a shooting, he would be the one to do it,’” Winnett recalled her saying earlier Thursday morning.
Neighbors in the Newbury Park neighborhood where Long lived most recently also described him as reclusive.
Earlier this year, Tom Hanson, 70, who lives next door, said he called police after he heard Long tearing the house apart. Hanson said he was worried Long would hurt himself.
“I am not surprised, but I’m shocked,” he said.
Nick Dichirico, 63, a retired Verizon employee, said he regularly talks to his neighbors while walking his dog, with the exception of Long.
“He was one person that wouldn’t talk to anybody,” Dichirico said.
Pepperdine University says 16 students were at Borderline during shooting; one unaccounted for
In a statement posted to the school’s emergency information website, Pepperdine University confirmed that 16 students were at the Borderline Bar & Grill during the mass shooting Wednesday night that left a Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant and at least 11 others dead.
Two students were treated and released from a hospital and one student “remains unaccounted for,” according to information posted online.
“We continue to pray for the victims and their families, and all of us at Pepperdine are committed to assisting our community through this tragedy in every way possible,” according to the statement.
A prayer vigil was scheduled for noon on campus.
‘It’s never going to be the same’: Reactions to Thousand Oaks shooting
Reactions to mass shooting in Thousand Oaks
Video: Procession for Ventura County sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, killed in Thousand Oaks shooting
Procession for Sgt. Ron Helus of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. Helus was killed in the Thousand Oaks shooting.
Victim of shooting, Cody Coffman, 22, identified by father: ‘I am speechless and heartbroken’
The last thing Jason Coffman told his son was that he loved him.
Coffman on Thursday morning identified Cody Coffman, 22, as a victim of the shooting the night before at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks.
“I cannot believe that it’s happened in my family,” the tearful father told a crowd of reporters. “I don’t know how to console or what to say to the other people who are going to go through the same thing as I am. I am so sorry for them. I am speechless and heartbroken.”
Cody Coffman, who died at the scene, was the second confirmed victim of the shooting. The first was Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, who responded to reports of the attack.
Jason Coffman said he woke up to the sound of banging on his door about 1 a.m. Thursday, and thought it was the police. It was his son’s friends, who told him about the shooting.
“He didn’t come out,” Coffman, 41, of Camarillo said of his son.
Cody Coffman was on his way to fulfilling his dream, his father said. He had plans to join the Army and had been talking to recruiters. He was looking forward to being a big brother to his unborn sister and had two younger brothers, ages 6 and 8.
The elder Coffman said Cody will leave behind a legacy of love and laughter. He said he coached his son in baseball since the boy was 3 years old, and that they were fishing buddies.
“That poor boy would come with me whether he liked it or not,” he said. “That’s the kind of stuff that I’m truly going to miss.”
Coffman said he had “no comment” on the man who took his son’s life, other than to say that he felt sorry for the man’s parents. When reporters asked about his thoughts on guns, he again said “no comment.”
“Everybody has their rights. We all live in free world,” he said, before adding, “Guns are in the wrong hands.”
Times staff writers Andrea Castillo and Alene Tchekmedyian contributed to this report.
Why the U.S. is No. 1 — in mass shootings
The United States is, by a long shot, the global leader in mass shootings, claiming just 5% of the global population but an outsized share -- 31% -- of the world’s mass shooters since 1966, a new study finds.
The Philippines, Russia, Yemen and France -- all countries that can claim a substantial share of the 291 documented mass shootings between 1966 and 2012 -- collectively didn’t even come close to the United States.
And what makes the United States such a fertile incubator for mass shooters? A comprehensive analysis of the perpetrators, their motives and the national contexts for their actions suggests that several factors have conspired to create in the United States a potent medium for fostering large-scale murder.
On a crowded overpass, people pay tribute to Ventura County sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus
Here’s a list of vigils planned for victims of the Thousand Oaks shooting
• There will be a community vigil at Thousand Oaks City Hall, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., at 6 p.m. Thursday.
• Pepperdine University will host a prayer service for the campus community at noon Thursday.
• Moorpark College will host a vigil at 6 p.m. Thursday.
• Ascension Lutheran Church at 1600 E Hillcrest Drive in Thousand Oaks will host a prayer vigil at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
• There will be a prayer service at St. Julie Billiart Catholic Church at 2475 Borchard Road in Newbury Park at 7 p.m. Thursday.
• There will be a prayer vigil at Prince of Peace Church Chapel at 5700 Rudnick Ave. in Woodland Hills at 7 p.m. Thursday.
• The friends and family of Sean Adler, a victim of the shooting, are hosting a vigil in his honor at Rivalry Roasters, 2355 Tapo Street, in Simi Valley at 7 p.m. Thursday. There will be a second memorial for Adler at the same location Friday at 7 p.m.
• St. Paschal Baylon Catholic Church will hold a prayer vigil at 155 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez will be in attendance.
• A vigil will be held outside John Spoor Broome Library at California State University, Channel Islands at 8 p.m. Thursday.
• Members of the California Lutheran University community are welcome to gather in Samuelson Chapel on Thursday to talk, pray and write messages of support.
• A vigil will be held at the Government Center in Ventura at 4:45 p.m. Friday.
• There will be a vigil at Discovery Church at 580 E Easy Street in Simi Valley at 5 p.m. Saturday.
• Shepherd’s House Church at 2348 Townsgate Road in Westlake Village will host a prayer vigil at 9 a.m. Sunday.
This post will be updated as more information becomes available. If you have information about community vigils to contribute, please contact email@example.com.
FOR THE RECORD: A previous version of this article said there would be a vigil at Discovery Church in Simi Valley at 5 p.m. Sunday. The vigil is at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Rams react to Thousand Oaks shooting about four miles from their practice facility
The Rams issued a statement and several players posted to social media Thursday in reaction to the mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks country-music-themed venue located about four miles from the team’s practice facility at Cal Lutheran University.
Thirteen people died in the incident, which occurred late Wednesday night at the Borderline Bar & Grill.
“The Los Angeles Rams organization is heartbroken by the horrific shooting that took place last night in our community of Thousand Oaks,” the Rams said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and our entire community.”
‘Our hearts ache today’: Elected officials respond to Thousand Oaks shooting
Gov. Jerry Brown released a statement Thursday morning on Twitter in response to the shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill, where 12 people were killed by a gunman.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris also expressed their condolences and directed families looking for loved ones to available resources.
Body of slain sheriff’s sergeant to be escorted from hospital to coroner’s office
The body of Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus will be escorted from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office in Ventura.
Helus was one of the first law enforcement officers to arrive at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks shortly after reports of a shooting at 11:20 p.m. He ran through the front door and was shot multiple times.
The procession will depart from Los Robles Regional Medical Center at 10 a.m., starting on West Janns Road. Then it will make a left on Lynn Road and get on Highway 101 heading north. The procession will exit on Mills Road and head toward the medical examiner’s office.
Thousand Oaks gunman was 29, drove mother’s car to bar before silently opening fire, source says
A witness said early Thursday that the gunman in the Thousand Oaks shooting was dressed in black when he entered the Borderline Bar & Grill around 11:20 p.m.
Holden Harrah, 21, was among the hundreds inside listening to music Wednesday night as a part of a college night event.
He said he looked over at the front door and saw the man walk in wearing a black hat, glasses and a black shirt. He had a beard, Harrah said.
Sheriff’s sergeant called wife, then rushed into Thousand Oaks mass shooting scene. ‘He died a hero’
Right before Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus rushed into the Borderline Bar & Grill on Wednesday night to respond to reports of a mass shooting, he called his wife.
“He said, ‘hun I got to go, I love you. I gotta go on a call,’” Sheriff Geoff Dean said.
Helus was among the first law enforcement officers to arrive shortly after 11:20 p.m. He ran through the front door and was shot multiple times by the gunman, Dean said.
Families search for missing loved ones after Thousand Oaks shooting: ‘My gut is saying she’s inside the bar, dead.’
Adam Housley arrived at the Los Robles Regional Medical Center around 3:30 a.m. searching for his niece. A guard didn’t let him through, saying it was on lockdown.
His niece, 18-year-old Pepperdine freshman Alaina Housley, had been at the bar with several friends. Her Apple Watch and iPhone still showed her location on the dance floor.
“My gut is saying she’s inside the bar, dead,” he said. “I’m hoping I’m wrong.”
Housley said two of Alaina’s suitemates jumped through a broken window to escape and are at a hospital with major wounds. As they ran away from the bar, someone screamed “Hey! Get the ... down on the ground!” They told Housley they believe it was the gunman.
Instead, they kept running toward houses near Los Robles Greens golf course, where they got help.
Alaina’s friends told Housley that they’d lost her in the chaos.
“She’s an amazing girl,” he said. “I know you always hear those things.”
Housley said he comes from a small, tight-knit family. He’s been on the scene during mass shootings before as a reporter for Fox News.
“You just don’t think that — same stupid quote — you just don’t think it’s going to happen to you,” he said.
Housley said he went to the crime scene and called the hotline. They didn’t tell him much.
Trump says he’s been ‘fully briefed’ on Thousand Oaks shooting
‘He just pulled out a gun and shot my friend’: Tales of horror inside Thousands Oaks bar
Holden Harrah, 21, said he was on the side of the stage. He said he looked over at the front door and saw a bearded man walk in wearing a black hat, glasses and black shirt.
“He just pulled out a gun and shot my friend that was working the front desk,” he said. The first couple shots, he said, his voice wavering, was the girl he knew.
Immediately, everyone dropped to the floor. Harrah got access to the side door and ran out.
“I heard more gunshots behind me. I was freaking out,” he said. “I didn’t know if they were coming toward me or not.”
Harrah has been coming to this bar for 6 months.
Watch: Ventura County sheriff gives update on casualties
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean updates reporters on the shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill.
Families wait for answers at reunification center
Families who haven’t been able to reach their loved ones were invited to the Thousand Oaks Teen Center, where sheriff’s deputies were collecting information about people unaccounted for. Reporters were not allowed inside.
Shortly after 3 a.m., a family was speaking with three sheriff’s deputies outside the center, saying they heard secondhand that their loved one had been shot. They were invited inside.
Several minutes later, another group in sweats and pajamas walked in.
‘It’s a horrific scene in there. There’s blood everywhere.’
“It’s part of the horrors that are happening in our country and everywhere, and I think it’s impossible to put any logic or sense to the senseless.”
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean
At a grim news conference, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean announced the gunman in Thousand Oaks had killed 12 people, including a sheriff’s official who raced into the Borderline bar to help.
“It’s a horrific scene in there. There’s blood everywhere,” Dean said.
The gunman, who is believed to have taken his own life, has not been identified. Authorities have recovered one weapon.
Phones ring nonstop as friends frantically check on each other: Are you OK?
Mike Millar, 25, of Thousand Oaks was driving home from a Pistol Annies concert with a friend when both their phones started ringing nonstop.
Friends were calling to make sure they were OK. They turned on their police scanners to find out what was happening.
At least three of their friends were in the Borderline Bar & Grill during the shooting — two off-duty police officers who escaped through a broken back window, and one woman who was shot.
On a busy night there could be a few hundred people inside.
“On a really crowded night it’s hard to move around,” Millar said. “The country music community is close. We all go to the same concerts, see each other.”
‘Borderline’s a family’
Hotline established for families looking for loved ones at Thousand Oaks bar
The Ventura County Fire Department said a family hotline number has been established: (805) 465-6650.
Thousand Oaks bar shooting: ‘We just tried to get down as fast as we could and get out of there’
‘He started to reload. That’s when I got people out of there and I didn’t look back’
Matthew Wennerstrom, 20, was talking with his friends when he heard the shots. All he saw was a tall, dark figure with a handgun and he knew what was going on. He pulled as many people as he could underneath a pool table.
He described panic, and a lot of people trying to call cellphones.
“He started to reload. That’s when I got people out of there and I didn’t look back,” he said.
“It’s really unfortunate what happened but we are going to continue on,” he said.
As he spoke outside, he had blood on the right sleeve of his gray T-shirt.
Sisters finally reunited after horror inside the Borderline bar
Amanda Muñoz, 27, said her sister, Lindsey Scheivert, 26, was at the bar — as she is most Wednesdays — when the shots rang out.
Muñoz and her husband woke to the news in a panic.
“That was the worst part: they weren’t saying where the shooter was,” she said. “Of course you think the worst things possible.”
Scheivert would later tell her sister that a friend who works there as a bartender grabbed her and her boyfriend, and several of them ran upstairs to the attic.
The group of seven hid there until they knew it was safe to come out. Muñoz called her sister’s phone to no avail — she’d left her purse downstairs. But Scheivert picked up her boyfriend’s phone, saying in a hurried whisper that she couldn’t talk, but was safe.
Muñoz watched her sister exit the bar on the news. She and her husband left their Simi Valley home to pick up Scheivert from the scene. They were waiting behind the yellow police tape for her to finish being interviewed by police, Muñoz wrapped in a brown blanket.
At 2:15 a.m., Scheivert and her boyfriend emerged. Muñoz gave each of them a long hug. Then she removed the blanket from her shoulders and wrapped it around her younger sister.
Here’s where the Borderline Bar & Grill is located
The Borderline Bar & Grill is located in an office park off the 101 Freeway in Thousand Oaks. Each Wednesday it hosts a “College Country Night,” according to its online calendar. The event, open to students 18 and older, was scheduled to take place this evening.
The bar has been in business for more than 20 years and bills itself as Ventura County’s Largest Country Dance Hall & Live Music.
‘He was shooting everything — from the speakers to anything’
Summer Helmuth and Kayla Simmons walked out of the bar wrapped together in a pink blanket, weeping.
They saw a friend who had been waiting outside for word, and the three of them embraced.
Helmuth and Simmons were on the dance floor, line dancing, when they heard the gunfire.
Helmuth, who said she was in the military and visits the bar about once a week, pushed her friend down and crawled behind a wooden stage.
“He was shooting everything — from the speakers to anything — so all we really saw was smoke,” Helmuth said.
Horror inside Borderline bar as gunman opens fire: ‘I thought for a minute that, maybe, I won’t make it out’
Erika Sigman was at the Borderline with a handful of other friends to celebrate a birthday when the gunshots cracked through the bar.
She and her friends immediately dropped to the floor, hiding beneath their bar stools. A friend warned her of what seemed to be a smoke bomb that was about to go off.
Before a second round of gunfire, the Cal State Channel Islands student ran through the front door of the bar, down the parking lot and to her car. She hid behind cars with strangers.
“We were scared he would come to the parking lot because — what then?” she said, her voice shaky. “Cops finally came and one of the cops ran across the parking lot to tell us what to do. It was still an active shooter.”
She was reunited with two of her friends shortly after. She watched as another was carried by “an amazing guy.”
“We’re all OK — little stumbles and scratches here and there,” the 19-year-old said.
Sigman said the experience was “really terrifying.”
“We’re pretty much regulars here,” she said. “We’re all just pretty shaken up right now. ... I thought for a minute that, maybe, I won’t make it out.”
Update: Number of injured in Thousand Oaks bar shooting climbs to 11, with multiple fatalities
At least 11 people were wounded Wednesday night in a mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks bar, including multiple fatalities, Ventura County Sheriff’s authorities said.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Capt. Garo Kuredjian said hundreds of people were inside the bar at the time of the shooting. The number of people injured is likely to rise, he said, as many victims transported themselves to hospitals and emergency rooms with injuries.
Authorities said the suspect is down and no longer an active threat, but provided no additional details about his condition.
Some inside Borderline bar survived Las Vegas mass shooting, friends say
Friends and family converged as the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks anxiously to learn the fate of the hundreds of people who were inside when a gunman opened fire.
Chandler Gunn, 23, of Newberry Park, said his mom came to his room and told him about the shooting.
He called a friend who works there and was also at Route 91 in Las Vegas as he drove to the scene. She told him that some type of tear gas was thrown into the bar. She saw smoke and heard gunshots and ran out the back toward nearby apartments.
Watch: Ventura County sheriff’s captain speaks to reporters
Ventura County Sheriff’s Capt. Garo Kuredjian speaks to reporters outside the Borderline Bar & Grill, where an active shooter wounded at least seven people, including a deputy.
Active shooter and multiple victims at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks
Police were responding to reports of a mass shooting that left at least six people injured, including a deputy sheriff, Wednesday night at a Thousand Oaks bar packed with college students and others.
Authorities said the scene at the Borderline Bar & Grill was still “fluid” and urged the public to stay away. Officials could not immediately confirm if there were fatalities.
One law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Times that at least 30 shots had been fired and that there are casualties.
Frantic college students try to find out if friends survived mass shooting at Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks
Carl Edgar, a 24-year-old Tarzana resident, said he had about 20 friends inside the bar, where he’s a regular. He said the bar is popular on Wednesday nights with students from Moorpark College but he wasn’t there tonight.
He heard about the incident on Snapchat and immediately texted friends who were there.
“Call me,” his friend replied.
When he did, she said she had escaped the bar and was hiding behind a gas station. He told her to stay calm.
After midnight, another friend texted him that she was hiding in the back bathroom.
“As far as I know, all of my friends are OK, safe,” he said. “There are a few people we can’t get a hold of, but in these situations people usually turn off their phones to be safe, so I’m not gonna get too worried. A lot of my friends survived Route 91. If they survived that, they’ll survive this.”
Dozens and friends and family converged on the scene early Thursday to await word on those inside. In some cases, they said they were able to get out, sometimes by hiding or breaking through windows. But others said they still awaiting word.
Mass shooting occurred during college night at popular Borderline bar
The mass shooting occurred at the Borderline Bar & Grill, a well-known institution in Thousand Oaks that bills itself as “Ventura County’s Largest Country Dance Hall & Live.”
When the gunman opened fire at 11:20 p.m., the bar was filled with hundreds of college students who were on hand for a regular Wednesday night event that included free dance lessons.
Students from several local colleges include Pepperdine and Cal Lutheran were reported there when the incident occurred.