A hooded gunman dressed in black opened fire on a country dance bar popular with college students in Southern California, killing 11 people and a sheriff’s sergeant. The shooter also died in the melee. USA TODAY
The country music world woke up Thursday to learn of the second mass shooting to hit that community in as many years. Twelve people were killed and more injured after a gunman opened fire at a college night at Borderline, a country dance club in Thousand Oaks, California. The gunman was found dead inside.
“Waking up in NYC to the terrible news in California that 12 were killed in a country bar last night,” tweeted Big & Rich singer John Rich. “1 officer killed in the line of duty as he ran toward the shooter to save lives. Join me in asking the Holy Spirit to pull those families close this morning.”
Country icon Charlie Daniels also honored Ron Helus, the veteran Ventura County sheriff’s sergeant and one of the first responders to arrive on the scene. He died of his injuries.
“Another Blue Knight was lost last night,” the “Devil Went Down to Georgia” singer tweeted. “He died in the act of protecting and serving, as so many of his brothers and sisters have before him. Sgt. Ron Helus, you died saving lives. There is no higher calling.”
“So many of my friends & I have frequented that bar,” said “Pretty Little Liars” star Lucy Hale, a longtime country music fan who has a second career as a singer. “We live in a world where devastation like this can happen anywhere/anytime. I’m so sorry to the victims & everyone involved. And I’m so sorry pain like this occurs.”
Nashville-based singer Margo Price posted a photo of her herself wearing a pin that read “We can end gun violence,” tweeting, “13 shot dead in a California bar. This is why I wear this pin. My heart goes out to the victims and their families.”
On Oct. 1, 2017, 58 country music fans were killed at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas. Some survivors of the earlier attack were reported to have been at Borderline, as “Fargo” actress Carrie Coon pointed out.
“Some inside the Thousand Oaks Bar in California survived the Las Vegas shooting,” wrote “Gone Girl” actress Carrie Coon. “It won’t be long before we all know a victim, a survivor, a perpetrator, or before we or our loved ones ARE victims or survivors.”
The shootings hit home for many stars outside of the country scene.
“The Real” host and “Sister, Sister” star Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband, former Fox News correspondent Adam Housley, who learned their niece, Alaina Housley, was among the dead.
“Our hearts are broken. We just learned that our niece Alaina was one of the victims of last night’s shooting at Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks,” the couple stated via their joint representative Chantal Artur. “Alaina was an incredible young woman with so much life ahead of her and we are devastated that her life was cut short in this manner. We thank everyone for your prayers and ask for privacy at this time.”
The couple had spent Thursday morning frantically trying to ascertain the Pepperdine University freshman’s whereabouts on social media.
More: Tamera Mowry-Housley, husband learn niece was among Thousand Oaks victims
Former Go-Gos frontwoman Belinda Carlisle was especially heartbroken to see it happened in her hometown, located at about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
“I grew up there and know it well,” she tweeted. “I lived there when it was just dairy farms and Thousand Oaks Blvd. Every day now there is another mass shooting. When will this end????”
The shooting was personal for comedian Christopher Titus, who has performed in that very club.
“11 dead, shot to death, in a place I’ve done comedy. Borderline, in Thousand Oaks,” he tweeted. “Bunch of college kids. Brokenhearted for the dead, families, friends, coworkers, fellow students, teachers. Multiply the dead by EVERYONE THAT LOVED THEM. Then let’s just keep staring at the sun.”
“My heart breaks for Thousand Oaks today. My heart is dust from being broken for so many places in our country so many times,” “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda lamented, adding a link to Every Town for Gun Safety.
Chelsea Clinton hammered home the point that the U.S. has had many similar incidents in recent memory.
“We are on a hamster wheel of insanity. Another day of grief. Another day of outrage,” “Frozen” star Josh Gad said. ” Another day of families unnecessarily learning their loved ones are dead. But, don’t worry, I remember from all of the other times we’ve done this…’Guns aren’t the problem.’ “
“Another senseless act. 13 dead in another mass shooting. Families devastated by violence. Again,” Ellen DeGeneres tweeted.” My heart is with the people of Thousand Oaks, and with everyone fighting to make change.”
“The Office” star Rainn Wilson added, “My heart breaks for my neighbors in Thousand Oaks and the victims of the seemingly endless stream of gun violence in our country.”
The shooter: Marine veteran Ian David Long identified as Thousand Oaks gunman
What we know: 11 victims, one first responder dead after Thousand Oaks bar shooting
‘He died a hero’: Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus among dead
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