This is, sadly, something you think you'd hear on the news about another country in the Middle East. But it's right here in Southern California. Here, Franklin Graham shares the tragic news and asks that we all pray for the victims and their families.
"This morning would you lift up in prayer all those wounded and the families whose loved ones were killed in a shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, last night," said Graham on Facebook. "At least 12 victims are reported dead including a deputy responding at the scene."
Graham shared the Fox News story, which describes an incredibly bloody scene at the Thousand Oaks Borderline Bar & Grill. It was "college country music" night, and many college students from the area, including Pepperdine University, California Lutheran University, and California State University Channel Islands, were in attendance.
A young man, dressed in all black, came into the bar and opened fire after first throwing a smoke device. The shooter was 28 year-old ex-Marine David Long, whom authorities believe shot himself after killing 12 people in the bar, including a veteran sheriff sergeant nearing retirement.
“We’ve had several contacts with Mr. Long over the years, minor events such as a traffic collision. He was a victim of a battery in a bar in 2015,” Sheriff Geoff Dean said.“Obviously, he had something going on in his head that would cause him to do something like this. Obviously, he had some sort of issue,” Dean added.
About 150 to 200 people were inside the bar when the shooting happened. “It is a horrific scene in there. There is blood everywhere,” Dean said, describing it as "hell."
Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, a veteran of 29 years, was the first to the scene, along with a patrolman. He was shot several times by the gunman and later pronounced dead. "Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff sergeant," Dean said, holding back tears. "He was totally committed. He gave his all. And tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero because he went in to save lives. To save other people."
“We all just kind of froze for a split second and then everyone booked it and dove to the floor," said Teylor Whittler, who came to the bar for a friend's birthday. "After the first round it was quiet for about five seconds, and then some guys who were next to me on the floor got up and started sprinting toward the back door and yelled at everyone, ‘Get up! Run! He’s coming!”
Whittler got trampled and hit with a barstool as everyone ran out in fear. Eventually a man pulled her up and helped her get out. She still has yet to hear from 5 of her friends who were there that night.
Please pray for the victims of this unbelievable tragedy. Feel free to post in the comments so we can agree with you! Thank you.