‘Botham is singing with the angels’: Shooting victim remembered at prayer vigil
DALLAS — Tears flowed Saturday at the Dallas West Church…
Pepperdine University has determined that multiple students were at a California bar and grill at the time of a mass shooting that left 13 dead, including the gunman and a sheriff’s deputy.
“At this time, the University is working to identify and provide support to those students,” the Malibu university, which is associated with Churches of Christ, said in a statement.
The investigation into what happened is ongoing.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed one of the first to the scene at the Borderline Bar and Grill was Sgt. Ron Helus, 54.
Helus entered the bar and was shot by the gunman.
“He went in there to save people and made the ultimate sacrifice,” Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters in a press conference early Thursday morning.
The sheriff says the shooting started just outside the entrance. The suspect, now identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, first shot an unarmed security guard at the door. He then entered the bar, turned to where several officers and employees were, opening fire. From there, the sheriff said Long began firing randomly into the crowd of patrons.
There was obviously chaos inside the bar.
Patrons ran and hid, some hiding in bathrooms, others leaving through emergency exits or breaking through windows to escape the gunfire.
“Unfortunately, our young people or people at nightclubs have learned that this may happen,” Dean said. “They think about that. Fortunately, it probably saved a lot of lives that they fled the scene so rapidly.”
Investigators are still unsure of a motive.
The names of the other victims have not been released. The sheriff said that won’t happen for a few hours.
While most of the Pepperdine students were safe Thursday morning, one freshman who had been at the bar was still unaccounted for.
The scene of the shooting is a popular spot for students of Pepperdine.
Kendall Ross, a sophomore studying abroad as part of Pepperdine’s Shanghai program — and daughter of The Christian Chronicle’s chief correspondent, Bobby Ross Jr. — says the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks is a “super popular place.”
“I’ve been there. Super scary,” she said of the shooting.
Wednesday nights are “College Country Nights” at Borderline, according to a YouTube video.
Kendall Ross’ brother, Keaton, wrote about her experience for The Talon, Oklahoma Christian’s student newspaper:
With a wide-open dance floor and blaring country music, Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks offered an oasis from the cutthroat, make-it-or-break-it world of Southern California. While normally opening only to those over the age of 21, they make an exception every Wednesday night to host college night, allowing anyone over the age of 18 to enter.
Craving some good old-fashioned, sober fun, my sister and six of her friends ventured out to Borderline around 8 p.m. on this Wednesday evening. Donning cowboy hats and flannel shirts, they walked inside the dance hall after showing their IDs and receiving a stamp indicating they were under 21.
While the group failed miserably at line dancing, the night was filled with laughter and joy. They walked away feeling less stressed about classes and more connected as friends.
The sheriff’s office said the shooter was found dead at the scene.
He had been armed with a Glock 21. A .45-caliber hand gun designed to hold 10 rounds plus one in the chamber. However, he reportedly had “an extended magazine” on the gun.
The sheriff says it appears Long legally obtained the weapon used in the shooting.
Several people were injured as a result of the chaos that ensued as they tried to escape the bar. Most of those are believed to have been minor injuries.
A prayer service for the Pepperdine campus community has been scheduled for today at noon in Smothers Theatre.
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