'Seen It Twice': Survivors of Vegas Concert Massacre Were at Calif. Bar During Mass Shooting, Friends Say

Jeff Truesdell
'Seen It Twice': Survivors of Vegas Concert Massacre Were at Calif. Bar During Mass Shooting, Friends Say

Clubgoers out for a country music night Wednesday at a California bar, where a gunman killed at least 12 people, included some who survived the mass shooting at the Route 91 country music festival in Las Vegas last year, according to multiple news reports.

“A lot of people in the Route 91 situation go here,” Chandler Gunn — whose friend works at the site of the shooting, Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, and who attended the Las Vegas concert — told the Los Angeles Times.

“There’s people that live a whole lifetime without seeing this,” said Gunn, 23, “and then there’s people that have seen it twice.”

“I was at the Las Vegas Route 91 mass shooting, as well as probably 50 or 60 others who were in the building at the same time as me tonight,” said survivor Nicholas Champion, reports TV station WSMV.

“Unfortunately, it’s the second time in about a year and a month that this has happened,” he said.

Gunn said he was home Wednesday night when his mom alerted him to news of the Borderline shooting, and he rushed to the bar where his friend works. He said that his friend told him she ran out the back after seeing smoke and hearing gunshots.

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The scene outside the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California
The scene outside the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California

A trained paramedic, Champion said he tried to help out in the aftermath, just as he’d done on the scene of the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Oct. 1, 2017, where more than 700 people were injured in the attack and 58 victims died.

Carl Edgar, 24, a regular at the bar, told the Times he also was not there Wednesday for what the bar promoted as “College Country Night,” but that he knew several friends who were inside when the shooting broke out.

He immediately reached at least one of them via text after learning about the incident on Snapchat, he said.

“As far as I know, all of my friends are okay, safe,” he said. “There are a few people we can’t get ahold of, but in these situations people usually turn off their phones to be safe so I’m not gonna get too worried.”

“A lot of my friends survived Route 91,” he said. “If they survived that, they’ll survive this.”

Makeshift memorial pays tribute to the Las Vegas shooting victims in October 2017.

Shots were first reported about 11:20 p.m. at the Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks, west of L.A., Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters.

A Ventura sheriff’s sergeant, identified as Ron Helus, was one of the first on the scene about three minutes later and was shot as he entered the bar and died at the hospital, Dean said.

Eleven other slain victims were found inside.

In the Las Vegas attack, more than 22,000 people were gathered in an open area for the third and final day of the Route 91 Harvest Festival as Jason Aldean was on stage for the last performance of the night.

As Aldean sang his hit “When She Says Baby” just after 10 p.m., a gunman rained a fusillade of bullets lasting for more than 10 minutes on the crowd below from his room on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay casino.

The shooter then took his own life as police closed in on him. Authorities who later said he elaborately planned and targeted the event crowd found his body surrounded by spent shell casings and piles of bullet-filled magazines. His car was recovered, and inside, police found explosives.