‘I Was Thinking That Would Be the Last Day of My Life’: Disabled Man Prays During Mass Shooting in Thousand Oaks Bar

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Santos Tecum thought he was going to die when he heard the gunshots ring out at the bar.

Santos Tecum speaks to KTLA on Nov. 8, 2018, the morning after he survived a mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks bar. (Credit: KTLA)
Santos Tecum speaks to KTLA on Nov. 8, 2018, the morning after he survived a mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks bar. (Credit: KTLA)

As an amputee, he could not run, or jump out of windows the way other patrons at the Borderline Bar & Grill did when a gunman opened fire at the Thousand Oaks restaurant Wednesday night. Instead, he threw himself to the ground and prayed.

"But I just stayed on the ground, and I believe in God, so I just prayed that I wouldn’t get shot," the 26-year-old Cal Lutheran University student told KTLA.

"I didn't not move at all. I saw everyone threw themselves through the window and ran through the back door, and he kept shooting," said Tecum, who is missing a leg.

Tecum said the shooting lasted for at least 10 minutes. He lay there, motionless and quietly praying.

"I was thinking that would be the last day of my life, because I can't do anything, I was just hoping not to get killed."

In all, 12 people, including a Ventura County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Ron Helus, were killed in the shooting. The gunman, identified as Ian David Long, 28, was found dead inside, and authorities believe he shot himself.

Tecum was not injured and was eventually rescued by SWAT officers.

He visited the Cal Lutheran chapel in Thousand Oaks after the incident to speak to other students. Classes at the university were canceled Thursday, as many students from the campus frequented the local bar, and counseling is being offered.

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