LA archbishop offers prayers for victims following attack

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, California. Credit: CNA
Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, California. Credit: CNA

.- Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles has offered prayers for the victims, and all who were affected by a Wednesday evening shooting at a country music club in Thousand Oaks, California.

 

At least 12 people, including a Sheriff's deputy, were killed in the attack at Borderline Bar & Grill. The venue was hosting a country-themed night for nearby college students. The shooting occurred shortly before 11:30 pm.

 

More than 20 people were taken to area hospitals for treatment following the attack.

 

The shooter, identified by authorities as 28 year-old Ian David Long, also died of a gunshot during the attack, though it is not clear under what circumstances.

 

In a statement released by the archdiocese, Gomez said he awoke to news of “horrible violence last night at the Borderline Grill in Thousand Oaks.”

 

Gomez urged prayers for the families of the victims and for those who were killed or hurt in the shooting. He singled out Sgt. Ron Helus of the Ventura County Sheriff's office as an “heroic officer” who was killed defending others during the attack.

 

Helus, who was due to retire next year, was the first victim to be publicly identified. After responding to the attack, he sustained multiple gunshot wounds and passed away at a nearby hospital.

 

“May God grant perpetual light to those who have died and may he bring comfort to their loved ones and peace to our community,” said Gomez.

 

A motive for the attack was not immediately available. The suspect has been identified as a Marine veteran who had numerous past run-ins with police. According to a New York Times report, Long, a Marine Corps veteran, was the subject of a disturbance complaint at his home in April following which he spoke to mental health specialists, who concluded that he was not an immediate danger to himself or others.

 

The shooting follows an brutal anti-semitic attack on a Pittsburgh synagoge, Oct. 27, in which 11 people were killed during a service. It also follows similar mass-casualty attacks, including the Las Vegas shooting one year ago, in which 58 people lost their lives.

Tags: Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Archbishop Jose Gomez, LA shooting