THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — Five days after losing 12 loved ones to a gunman whose motive is still unknown, with much of the surrounding community still evacuated due to the monstrous Woolsey Fire, friends and family gathered Monday night in front of a growing memorial at the Borderline Bar & Grill to grieve together.
Twelve white, wooden crosses – now a familiar sight at the growing number of mass shooting memorials, all created by Illinois man Greg Zanis and driven across the country – bear the names of all the 12 killed by Marine Corps veteran Ian Long.
Each cross is adorned with a heart, a flag and a photo. Some are draped with mementos. Their bases are all buried in flowers, and there are messages of love and grief scrawled on the wall behind the display of crosses. Hot rods were placed on the memorials for Jake Dunham and Blake Dingman by friends who said they loved to race.
Cody Hoffman could have celebrated joining the Army at Toppers Pizza in Camarillo, but instead, a fundraiser was held at the restaurant to raise money for his funeral expenses. At Cal Lutheran, Justin Meeks’ favorite band played for hundreds of people in his memory.
In Napa, hundreds remembered the youngest victim, 18-year-old Alaina Housley, whose body was brought home past hundreds of people who silently lined the road to pay their respects.
“I think it’s so important to know that, while Alaina’s gone and while we are going to have to live with that, we know that her voice will live on,” her father, Arik Housley said at a memorial service.
He says he plans to establish a foundation in her name that will be dedicated to stricter gun control.
The funeral for Ventura County sheriff’s sergeant Ron Helus is scheduled for Thursday.