The 12 victims of a mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks are being honored with a public park memorial one year after the devastating shooting.
The Healing Garden was dedicated Thursday on the anniversary of the shooting, beginning with a private ceremony for family members of the victims before the public opening of the memorial later this afternoon. The garden is located in Conejo Creek North Park and surrounds a pond that has a fountain containing 12 vertical water jets that honor the victims. Twelve granite slab benches and 12 paving stones are have also been installed in memory of those killed.
"This is to honor the memories of the 12 people who were taken from us last November at the Borderline," Ventura County Sheriff's Captain Eric Buschow said.
Last year on Nov. 7, a gunman entered the popular country-western bar and killed 11 people. Ventura County sheriff's deputy, Ron Helus, was wounded by the gunman before he was accidentally shot and killed by a California Highway Patrol officer who responded to the ensuing gunbattle.
The 28-year-old suspect ultimately killed himself.
The Borderline Bar and Grill has remained closed since the shooting last year.
"Not a day goes by that we do not think about our friends and family who we have lost," said a note posted on its website Thursday. "This past year has been extremely difficult for all of us as a community, but together we have helped each other move forward and continue our healing process one day at a time."
The community has taken the last year to to heal, especially after two major fires broke out in Thousand Oaks shortly after the shooting.
"Because you had the shooting at the Borderline, and then less than 24 hours later, two major fires broke out," said Captain Buschow. "We had a lot going on that week."
The new healing garden features a fountain as well as large boulders that represent each of the twelve victims.
Photo: Getty Images