THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — A rather quiet night at a Thousand Oaks bar’s weekly line dancing night ended in gunshots, broken glass, and chaos that left 13 dead and more than a dozen others wounded.
Borderline Bar and Grill had been hosting its “Country College” night for years, but on Wednesday night, parents who had gone to the bar themselves to line dance returned, frantic for information about their children who had been there amid a shooting that killed 13, including a Ventura County sheriff’s sergeant.
Tim Dominguez was there with his 26-year-old son, who thought the sound of gunfire was a joke.
“He didn’t think it was real,” Dominguez said. “I knew it was real.”
Wearing a beanie, he choked up as he recalled pulling down his son, and yelling at the girls next to them to get down.
“I think they all got out,” he said.
A man who identified himself as Cole said it was a normal night at Borderline Bar when he arrived with his friend Matt. The shooter looked “just like another guy coming in.”
When shots rang out, Cole said he corralled as many people as possible behind a pool table, and helped them escape through the smoking patio – where people were unaware of the gunshots that had erupted — and into the parking lot.
There were several young women who tearfully recounted being pulled down, thrown under tables, and through windows to get them out of the line of fire.
“Then these incredible humans just jumped up and started smashing out the windows and everybody was just like, jump, because we were trapped,” one woman wrapped in a dark blanket said. “We were completely trapped on that side, so we jumped two stories to the ground.”
A woman in a black hoodie and glasses said a stranger wrapped his arms around her in a bear hug and dragged her out. She said her father was stunned when she called to tell him there had been a shooting at the bar, but that she was OK.
“I’m still in shock. You never really think it will happen to you until it does, it’s just kind of a long shot,” she said. “Just to think that it happened to me, it’s crazy.”
Los Robles Hospital is in need of blood donors, especially those with O negative blood, for patients in critical condition. A blood drive is being held at La Reina High School, 106 W. Janss Road, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 877-25-VITAL.