Living through one mass shooting is enough, but one man has now gone through both the Las Vegas shooting and the attack in a Thousand Oaks bar.
On Wednesday night, a Marine Corps veteran entered a Thousand Oaks, Calf. Borderline and Grill bar and fatally shot 12 people. One of the witnesses was Brendan Kelly, who visits the bar at least two to three times a week; Kelly was there when the shots broke out at 11:20 p.m. He says he could hear when the gunfire started.
“Pop, pop,” said Kelly, describing the sound he heard. “Being in the military, being in the Marine Corps, I’m aware of what that sounds like, especially in an enclosed area.” He responded by grabbing people close to him and throwing them on the floor to take cover. “As soon as I identified where the target was, or where the threat was, I grabbed at least two people around me and yanked them as hard as I could to get to the nearest exit,” Kelly said.
Thankfully, Kelly was able to save him and others. Kelly says Borderline is a place he considered to be safe. “It’s too close to home,” Kelly said. “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. That was our place where we went to the following week, three nights in a row just so we could be with each other.”
Like before, Kelly had to make another heartbreaking call to his family. Kelly says he is still shocked that this is the second shooting he has survived. “Only thing I can attribute it to is God,” said Kelly. “His protective hand over me that night, on Oct. 1, and last night.”