UPDATED 9:20 AM PT — Fri. Nov. 9, 2018
Survivors of the tragic shooting which left 12 people dead at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California have united to remember those who lost their lives in the atrocious attack.
During the somber day of mourning Thursday, thousands of people attended a vigil for the victims after 28-year-old gunman Ian David Long opened fire at a college night event at the Borderline Bar and Grill before allegedly taking his own life.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking. It was awful. It was terrible to see as they were receiving notification. It is something that you wish, as an elected official, that would never happen in your city and you would never have to do in your own city. To have it happen here in Thousand Oaks seems surreal, very, very painful.” — Claudia Bill-de la Pena, Thousand Oaks City Council member
Throughout the day, hundreds of residents in the community stood in line for hours to attend a blood drive to support the victims.
Officials said they only expected about 30 people to participate, but nearly 400 people showed up.
“This is terrible, you see it on the news in other places in this country, it’s never been so close to this area. The turnout (to give blood), the patriotism we have in these communities it’s quite a turnout, I’m loving it.” — Joey Lodolce, resident of Thousand Oaks
Meanwhile, dozens of others attended a procession to honor Sgt. Ron Helus, who tragically lost his life after heroically running towards the gunfire to save others. Helus was a 29-year law enforcement veteran, who had plans to retire in the near future.
A GoFundMe account has been setup for the victims and has already raised more than $28,000 of its $50,000 goal in just under 12-hours.