The Thousand Oaks community came together Thursday with heavy hearts, honoring the lives lost in the Borderline shooting.
The Fred Kavli Theatre in Thousand Oaks seats 1800 people and Thursday night they reached capacity. Hundreds overflowed on to the lawn at the Civic Arts Plaza, creating makeshift memorials to honor the 12 lives cut tragically short.
The pain is still unbearably raw.
“I was just dancing when he came in and I heard him coming because he was like shooting,” said Jeremy Turchik, a Borderline Bar and Grill employee.
“I happened to be facing the doorway because I was talking to some friends by the pool tables. I saw a guy come in and he was wearing all dark clothing and he raised something in his hand and I saw sparks and then there was smoke,” said Kristal Konzen, another Borderline employee survivor.
These Borderline Bar and Grill employee’s fight or flight survival mode morphed from shock, anger and grief over the last 24 hours.
“Finding out that seven of my friends didn’t make it because in the moment I was like I have to get out of here I have to survive,” said Turchik.
“Being here tonight and seeing some of us being OK, we’re all going to be there together and we’re a strong Borderline family. It’s a great community, we’re gonna be OK,” said Konzen.
Hundreds of members of this tight-knit community came together, lighting candles, holding hands and embracing each other with their heads bowed in prayer – all to support the city that at only point was named one of the safest cities in America.
“The dawn will break and, in the morning, we will be more loving, more compassion, more unified and more full of hope. Because we are, as the sign said as I pulled up, Thousand Oaks strong,” said Thousand Oaks Mayor Andy Fox.
Like the warmth glowing from the vigil’s candles, survivors are finding light through the darkness of tragedy.
“It’s inspiring to see so many people come out and come together as much as it’s a tragedy there’s just a lot of support and I think it’s really important and I feel that whether people are Borderline employees, or regulars, or friends, I think it impacted the community a lot and there’s a lot of good people here that are going to be there to help us out,” said Konzen.