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Acts Of Heroism As 13 Lose Life In Southern California Shooting

Thursday, November 08, 2018
AP/Mark J. Terrill

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — The Borderline Bar & Grill is about a 10-minute drive from California Lutheran University, where students started receiving messages about the shooting right after it started.

Cal Lutheran student body president Nick Steinwender told KTLA-TV he and his roommate went to the scene to offer rides back to campus and moral support and there were already other students from the university there.

Steinwender says "it just feels like it's an attack on our community."

California Lutheran University has canceled classes following the shooting at the bar, where some of the college's students were attending a country music dance night.

The Cal Lutheran website says the university community is invited to gather Thursday at the school's chapel.

The university has more than 3,000 undergraduate students and more than 1,300 graduate students.

Survivors of a bar shooting are describing moments heroism as a gunman took lives. This happened at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, which is about 40 miles west of Los Angeles.

Nineteen-year-old Tayler Whitler says she was dancing and her friends were at a table by the door as the gunman opened fire. She says everyone yelled "Get down!" and it was silent for a couple seconds, then she heard "Get up, he's coming!" and people were trampling on each other to get out.

Nineteen-year-old Erika Sigman found herself hiding with a group of strangers, and they were holding her hands. She says "there is a lot of bad in this world, but there is also a lot of good and people will help."

A sheriff says 13 people were killed at the Borderline Bar & Grill, including a sheriff's sergeant and the gunman.

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean says sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus responded to the scene and was shot after he entered the building. He died at a hospital early Thursday. The sheriff said Sgt. Ron Helus undoubtedly saved lives by going in to confront the gunman. He says Helus was the first responder and was immediately hit with multiple gunshots and was his longtime friend and gym partner and planned to retire soon after 29 years with the force. He leaves a wife and son.

The sheriff says he told Helus' wife "he died a hero because he went in to save lives."

Authorities did not say how the gunman died.

President Donald Trump is offering condolences after a mass shooting at a Southern California bar.

Trump said on Twitter Thursday that he has been "fully briefed on the terrible shooting." He praised law enforcement, saying "Great bravery shown by police" and said "God bless all of the victims and families of the victims."