In the wake of the tragic Borderline shooting, Moorpark College is left to process the attack on their community

Student+and+faculty+members+gathered+for+a+vigil+in+the+Administration+building+the+night+after+the+shooting.+21-year-old+Moorpark+college+student+Noel+Sparks+was+one+of+the+casualties+in+the+Borderline+shooting.+Photo+credit%3A+Kevin+Sanders
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In the wake of the tragic Borderline shooting, Moorpark College is left to process the attack on their community

Student and faculty members gathered for a vigil in the Administration building the night after the shooting. 21-year-old Moorpark college student Noel Sparks was one of the casualties in the Borderline shooting. Photo credit: Kevin Sanders

Student and faculty members gathered for a vigil in the Administration building the night after the shooting. 21-year-old Moorpark college student Noel Sparks was one of the casualties in the Borderline shooting. Photo credit: Kevin Sanders

Student and faculty members gathered for a vigil in the Administration building the night after the shooting. 21-year-old Moorpark college student Noel Sparks was one of the casualties in the Borderline shooting. Photo credit: Kevin Sanders

Student and faculty members gathered for a vigil in the Administration building the night after the shooting. 21-year-old Moorpark college student Noel Sparks was one of the casualties in the Borderline shooting. Photo credit: Kevin Sanders

By Michelle De Leon

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Just moments after shots broke out at Borderline Bar & Grill, a country nightclub frequented by college students, in Thousand Oaks on Wed. night, Nov. 7, family members and friends began to receive notifications, alerting them of the tragedy that was taking place no more than 20 minutes away.

“A couple of my friends started to message me around 11:40 p.m.,” 18-year-old Director of Campus Events for the Associated Students at Moorpark College, Sonali Murugan said. “They were messaging me to see if I was okay.”

Almost immediately, the community began reaching out to find out if their loved ones had indeed been at the popular venue and if so, whether or not they were alive.

Murugan stayed up reading news updates through tweets and different news organizations, trying to keep up with all the reports coming in.

“I heard that some of my friends were there for College night,” Murugan said. “One of them I knew from high school, she passed away, unfortunately.”

The news had been broken abruptly to the community of Moorpark College, with emails and calls sent out to everyone.

Moorpark College President Luis Sanchez had been notified by one of the schools’ trustees, via text message, shortly after midnight. When President Sanchez woke up and saw the text message, he immediately logged into his email to get all of the details.

“My reactions [were] exactly as you indicated, a combination of grief, anger, bordering on rage…,” President Sanchez said.

He took a moment before finishing his thoughts. “Lots of sadness today.”

Unfortunately, the community is familiar with shootings like the one that took place at Borderline. Survivors of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival shooting in 2017 would frequent the Thousand Oaks bar, popular for their country nights, and were present that night.

Associated Student President at Moorpark College Andrew Lopez expressed that he wasn’t “okay” after hearing the news about the previous night but thought he was becoming desensitized to news of gun violence. Especially since it’s only been a few weeks since the shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue.

“But then, when it happens so close to home, it’s something else. It’s not something I would’ve hoped to ever experience,” Lopez said.

“It’s awful. There’s no other way to put it,” he said after finding one of the deceased had been a student at Moorpark College.

The college did try to make those that were on campus the day after the shooting feel that they were in a secure place. Local police agencies had been sent to patrol the campus.

“Most police officers tell you that right after a mass shooting is the safest period of time,” said President Sanchez.

“It’s unlikely that there is some other type of event,” President Sanchez said. “So they are here, so much for purposes of protecting, but to provide comfort and security to our students.”

According to President Sanchez, Moorpark College faculty does meet on a monthly basis to receive training in case of an active shooter on campus. A meeting is scheduled for next week with different law enforcement agencies to plan for a complicated active shooter. They are currently discussing running a drill during spring break.

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