Hundreds lined up Thursday, forgoing obligations to go to work or school, to help in some way after a gunman opened fire in a Thousand Oaks bar, leaving a dozen dead. Lines for a blood donation at La Reina High School wrapped around the block through the afternoon.
The blood drives were held at La Reina High School, and a secondary location at the Thousand Oaks Inn Best Western.
United Blood Services organizers however, ended the blood drives Thursday before the 3 p.m. cutoff due to the overwhelming amount of people that showed up — some had been there as early as 8 a.m.
Officials said it was important to register online first before going to any location to donate.
“This is amazing over 500 people in this line,” said Tony Guevara, Head of La Reina High School. “When tragedy strikes that really calls forth the best in communities.”
The blood drive was already scheduled at La Reina High School, but organizers said they realized the need was even greater after word broke of the mass shooting, Guevara said.
“We’re a tight-knit community and when things happen in the community it’s not time to think about other things, and think about ourselves. It’s time to think about others,” Nikki Jones said. “So I wanted to give blood and do what I can do to help victims.”
For those who did not get an opportunity to donate Thursday, La Reina was set to hold another blood drive in the school’s gym Friday at 10 a.m.
Twelve victims and the gunman died in the Wednesday when accused shooter, Ian David Long, allegedly opened fire inside Thousand Oaks Borderline Bar & Grill. The victims included a 54-year-old Ventura County Sheriff’s sergeant who responded to the scene.
Friday, Nov. 9, from 10: a.m. to 4 p.m.
Gym at La Reina High School, 106 W. Janss Road
GoFundMe and Donations
If you wish to donate to a GoFundMe account set up to help the families of the victims and survivors of the Borderline shooting, you may do so here.
Cal Lutheran also advised the community that those interested can make a cash donation to support those affected at the Ventura County Community Foundation.
A vigil was scheduled for 6 p.m. at Thousand Oaks City Hall in the Fred Kavli Theater.
At 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Cal Lutheran’s Samuelson Chapel, a Catholic Rosary and campus gathering were open to the public to help those affected mourn.