THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) – Nearly two weeks after the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill, survivors and mourners were still gathering at the makeshift memorial for the victims.
Flowers, balloons and other items were placed at the site of the Nov. 7 massacre at the Borderline Bar & Grill, including white crosses displaying the names of each of the 12 victims who were killed.
Alex Chatoff, one of the survivors of the shooting, was among several visitors honoring those who didn’t make it.
“I’ll always remember, like, when we were all hiding behind the DJ booth, just praying we’d get out of there,” said Chatoff.
He says the shooting has changed his life forever and he’s seeking the help of mental health professionals.
“Every once in a while, some loud noises bother me that’s a pretty common thing,” he said. “Emotionally I’m doing okay, my girlfriend and her two friends have been having a hard time, but I’ve been trying to be strong…I’ve been coping though.
I’ve seen psychologists and therapists….I’m really lucky my mom’s a psychologist, she’s been taking care of me,” Chatoff added.
Even as investigators still have not yet determined why Ian David Long opened fire on the Borderline crowd, the impact of the shooting on the community at large remains undeniable.
But for Chatoff, he says he struggles with whether the entire tragedy could’ve been prevented.
“I think the hardest thing about this is, I’m more angry because in my mind I think this could have been preventable. It pisses me off nobody was armed, nobody was allowed to be armed, no security guys were allowed to be armed,” said Chatoff.
According to Chatoff, the off-duty police officers who were there weren’t even allowed to bring in their weapons because of California law, which prohibits permitted concealed handguns in bars and other places that serve alcohol.
“What infuriates me the most is it could have been prevented,” he said.