Thirteen people were killed and 18 others injured in a shooting that took place late Wednesday, Nov. 7 at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, only about three hours South of San Luis Obispo.
Ian Long was identified as the shooter, according to the Associated Press. It is suspected that the Marine Corps veteran shot himself after using a smoke bomb and opening fire on the bar filled with college students. From 9 p.m. Wednesday to 2 a.m. Thursday, Borderline hosted weekly college country nights, giving discounts to attendees with student identification. Similar to San Luis Obispo’s The Graduate, during these weekly dance nights, students 18 years-old and older could learn country-style dances.
Mustang News reporter and journalism senior Kayla Berenson said while attending Pierce College near Thousand Oaks, she and her friends would go to country night nearly every week. Berenson said Wednesday nights were popular among students who attended nearby colleges, including Pepperdine University and California Lutheran University. This most recent country night was no different, with an estimated 150 people at the bar when Long began shooting.
Among those killed was 22-year-old Cody Coffman, sociology junior Jordyn White’s childhood friend. White said although she had not stayed in touch with Coffman, she was extremely saddened to hear about the shooting. White said another one of her close friends had left an hour or so before the shooting began.
“You think [a shooting] is never going to happen to your hometown, it’s never going to happen so close to you, and then someone that I practically grew up with is now no longer with us,” White said.
The mass shooting was the most recent in a series of shootings across the nation, as mentioned in President Jeffrey Armstrong’s campus-wide email Thursday morning.
“It is difficult to come to terms with the fact that last night’s tragedy was just one of several similar incidents our country has experienced in recent weeks,” Armstrong wrote. “My heart still aches from the shootings that also claimed innocent lives in Pittsburgh and Kentucky.”
Blood donation drives were set up in and around Thousand Oaks for the surviving victims. Parents on the Cal Poly SLO Mustang Parents page posted their condolences and photos of the Thousand Oaks community in mourning. Counseling services are available through Campus Health and Wellbeing. Resources for faculty and staff could be found through the Employee Assistance Program.