On Monday, family members, survivors, and supporters gathered to remember those who lost their lives when a gunman opened fire inside Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks.
For many, the November 7, 2018 mass shooting is still very fresh in their minds, and the impact it had forever changed their lives.
On that day, a gunman killed 11 people, some of whom were local college students. A Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant, who responded to the shooting, was also killed in the gun battle.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my son,” Jason Coffman told KTLA’s Rachel Menitoff. “Not a day goes by that I don’t pray for my son.”
Coffman lost his 22-year-old son Cody, who was simply enjoying a night out before he enlisted in the Marines.
Today, Coffman joins a network of people connecting over their shared grief.
“It’s hard to hold back tears, to be honest with you,” Coffman said. “So, to come out here and see smiling faces is what I like. Four years seems like yesterday still.”
Molly Maurer, one of the 248 survivors of the terror that night inside the country music dance club, is now helping others find long-term mental health support.
“I didn’t want to get support and it was really hard for me to go through those first couple of years,” said Maurer, who is now with Give An Hour, Mental Health, said. “I just had a perspective change and decided that this really terrible thing happened and if I can do anything about it, I’m going to turn it into something good. It makes me feel like evil didn’t win.”
For Colby Kalisek, a place she considered a second home became the scene of a nightmare. She was working as a promoter the night of the shooting and hid in a bathroom not knowing whether or not she would survive.
“It didn’t seem real at first. It seemed like I was in a dream, constantly waiting to wake up,” Kalisek said.
Every year, on Nov. 7, she comes to the permanent memorial in Conjeo Creek Park.
A healing garden and memorial stand to honor the lives lost, with 12 granite benches in place for each life lost and a paving stone for each one of the survivors.
“I will never forget the 12 that we lost that night,” Kalisek said. “I constantly live my life to be able to live for them.”
The mayor of Thousand Oaks encouraged people to use today’s anniversary as a “day of service” to honor the victims, survivors, and first responders who rushed in to help. The flags at city hall were also lowered to half-staff.