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Local politicians, schools, celebrities react to Thousand Oaks shooting

Acting Governor Gavin Newsom ordered flags at all state buildings to be flown at half-staff in light of the tragic mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California that ended the life of 12 people after a gunman opened fire at the Borderline Bar and Grill restaurant.

Governor-Elect Newsom issued the following statement:

“Jennifer and I extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Helus, and to the friends and families of the many who lost their lives in yet another horrific act of gun violence. We join the Thousand Oaks community in its grief and, together with all Californians, recognize the bravery and heroism of our nation’s peace officers and first responders.”

“This atrocious act and the many mass shootings that came before are beyond heartbreaking – they are societal failures. Simply saying ‘enough is enough’ isn’t enough. We must address the root causes of these devastating acts at every level of government.”

Other local politicians followed suit. Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24th) said:

“Early this morning, gun violence tragically touched our nation once again, this time taking the lives of thirteen of our neighbors in Thousand Oaks. This tragedy hits close to home as I once taught at a Cal Lutheran program. It was devastating to hear that Cal Lutheran students were involved.”

“My thoughts are with the victims, their loved ones, and the entire community in this time of unimaginable pain. I am incredibly grateful to Sheriff’s Deputy Ron Helus, who exhibited instinctual bravery and sacrifice during this dangerous shooting and ultimately lost his life. Thank you to all of the law enforcement officers at the scene who put their lives on the line for their community.”

“It is clear that we have a gun violence crisis. This shooting comes just eleven days after the last mass shooting in our country. Congress must act now to pass meaningful reforms to save lives and prevent future tragedies.”

California State Senator Henry I. Stern (D-Thousand Oaks) said in his public statement:

“We never think a mass shooting will happen in our community…until it does. Today, we mourn with anger and unwanted grief the loss of those who were taken from the Thousand Oaks community far too early.”

“I extend my deepest gratitude to the heroic actions of Sgt. Ron Helus and send condolences to his family. Helus dedicated 29 years of service to ensure the safety of our community. We will mourn him along with eleven other innocent lives we lost.”

“There have been 307 mass shootings in 2018. Some survivors also witnessed the Las Vegas Massacre – the deadliest in US history. It has only been two weeks since the massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.”

“Young people from Thousand Oaks to Parkland cry “enough” and “never again.” Now we must think long and hard as policy makers on both sides of the aisle about how to heed these calls and pursue real change. Words are not enough anymore.”

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin issued the following statement:

“Our community has been devastated by the senseless tragedy at the Borderline Bar and Grill last night.”

“Today, we are reminded that tragedies like this can occur even in the safest of communities. My heart goes out to the families and friends of those that lost their lives. I would like to extend my condolences to the family of Sheriff Sgt. Helus. Ventura County is incredibly thankful for his heroism and all the officers and emergency responders.”

School officials also issued public statements regarding the shooting. California Lutheran University said:

“The Cal Lutheran community is grieving over what happened last night. We know some of our students were there. We are waiting for more information from law enforcement. We have canceled classes, but the campus is open and all offices will be open. Our chapel is open for anyone who wants to gather. Counseling, pastoral and Student Affairs staff are all available. We have brought in additional resources to support our community.”

Moorpark College President Luis Sanchez said:

“Our campus community grieves the painful loss of life following last night’s tragic events in Thousand Oaks. We are coming together to support our students and employees during the student-led vigil on campus and also to honor those we’ve lost in our community.”

President of Moorpark College Associated Students added:

” My heart goes out to all the victims and their loved ones. I hear about these sort of tragedies on the news but I never imagined one to happen in our community. It is an extremely hard time for everyone and we feel a sense of helplessness on campus. I think this vigil is very important to not only honor and remember the victims and heroes of the Borderline shooting, but also to bring people together in this troubling time.”

Connie Horton, Vice President of Student Affairs at Pepperdine University issued the following statement:

“We are devastated to report that one of our students, Alaina Housley, was among those who passed away at Borderline in Thousand Oaks last night.”

“Our hearts are broken with the news of this profound loss. We offer our deepest condolences to the Housley family and ask that our community join us in keeping Alaina’s family, friends, and loved ones in their prayers during this incredibly difficult time.”

“We are here to guide and support our students, faculty, staff, and alumni in as many ways as we can, and this includes providing access to grief counselors and licensed clinicians to help them cope with the pain and sorrow this tragedy brings.”

“In this time of deep concern and sadness, we are focused on making sure the entire Pepperdine family comes together in a compassionate way that leads to individual and community healing.”

“As we try to process yet another act of senseless violence, please know that the following resources are available here on campus:

Students may contact the Counseling Center at 310.506.4210 or The Counseling Center provides free, confidential emotional/psychological support to all Pepperdine students. Faculty and staff may access counseling services through their Employee Assistance Program. Details are available on the HR website or by contacting HR at 310.506.4397. Pastoral support is available to the Pepperdine community through the Office of the Chaplain. Contact chaplain Sara Barton at or associate chaplain Eric Wilson at or at 310.506.4275.

“For those who wish to send condolences to the family, please send your cards, notes, or letters to: Vice President for Student Affairs Office, Tyler Campus Center Suite 210, Mail Code 4472, and we will forward them to the family.”

“In times like this, we need each other and our faith to carry us through. Please join me in lifting up Alaina’s family, friends, loved ones, as well as all those affected by this tragedy in prayer.”

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors also expressed their condolences for the shooting victims, their families, friends, and a grieving community. Supervisor Linda Parks said:

“It is a deeply sad moment in our community to experience the loss of so many who had their whole lives in front of them. Our hearts go out to all who are dealing with the loss of a loved one or friend.”

Peter Foy, Ventura County District 4 Supervisor and Board Chair said:

“It takes a special kind of person to walk toward danger. Ron Helus heard gunfire and knew lives were in danger and without hesitation he stepped into that danger. We are so proud of our first-responders and their willingness to risk their lives to save ours. Ron will be deeply missed.”

Ventura County Executive Officer Mike Powers said:

“This terrible tragedy affects not only our County family, but our communities, college campuses and many friends and families. Please keep them in your thoughts. The grieving has only just begun, and they will need our support.”

Celebrities were also vocal on the matter. Country singer Jon Pardi said in a Twitter post:

“Another tragedy, and this time in my home state of California. My heart goes out to the people who lost their lives in Thousand Oaks last night, along with those who suffered injuries. Praying for their family and friends as well.”

Country singer John Rich tweeted:

“Waking up in NYC to the terrible news in California that 12 were killed in a country bar last night. 1 officer killed in the line of duty as he ran toward the shooter to save lives. Join me in asking the Holy Spirit to pull those families close this morning. #Californiashooting”

Actress and American Country singer LeAnn Rimes also took to Twitter:

“Just seeing the news of the shooting in Thousand Oaks last night. I am heart broken for the victims and their families. This one hits way too close to home. My heart is with everyone effected by this horrible tragedy. #ThousandOaks #BorderLineShooting”

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James tweeted:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones last night in Thousand Oaks, CA!!!! #LoveIsStrongerThanHate”

TV Host and Montecito resident Ellen DeGeneres said:

“Another senseless act. 13 dead in another mass shooting. Families devastated by violence. Again. My heart is with the people of Thousand Oaks, and with everyone fighting to make change.”

American singer Meghan Trainor tweeted:

“So heartbroken for the families and friends of these victims. #ThousandOaks #BorderlineBarShooting”

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