A year ago, they survived the Las Vegas massacre. Now they’ve lived through another
They survived the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history just over one year ago.
On Wednesday, they endured another, as 12 people were killed by shooter Ian David Long in California.
Several people inside the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., were also at the Route 91 music festival last October, when gunman Stephen Paddock killed 58 and injured hundreds of others.
Nicholas Champion was among those who survived both shootings and spoke about his experience to CBS News.
“It’s the second time in about a year and a month that this has happened. It’s a big thing for us,” he said, explaining he was with several people who were also with him in Las Vegas.
“We’re all a big family and unfortunately this family got hit twice.”
In April, Champion spoke about surviving the Las Vegas shooting in an interview with Billboard Magazine.
Champion said that witnessing the mass shooting helped him decide to become a firefighter.
“Firefighting has been something I’ve been interested and wanted to do for a long time. It’s something I had been setting myself up for, and then after the event, it really went into overdrive. What I saw and experienced at Route 91 reaffirmed that I want to be a firefighter,” he said.
Another witness of the California shooting, Brendan Kelly, also said he was at the Las Vegas massacre.
“It’s too close to home,” Kelly told ABC News of the California shooting.
“Borderline was our safe space after, for lack of a better term, it was our home for the probably 30 or 45 of us who are all from the greater Ventura County area who were in Vegas.”
Katie Ray agreed, saying the Borderline bar was a “place of healing” for the group after the Las Vegas shooting.
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“For many of us, it was seeing each others’ faces in the bar again that brought us a huge sense of relief,” she said in an interview with HuffPost.
The Borderline bar is a popular spot for university students, and on Wednesday night was hosting College Country Night.
California Lutheran University, located about 8 kilometres from the bar, cancelled classes on Thursday, while Pepperdine University, about 32 kilometres away, planned a prayer service.
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— With a file from Reuters
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