Thousand Oaks shooting: Stepdad, son recall terrifying moments gunfire erupted

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Thursday, November 8, 2018
Thousand Oaks shooting: Gunman used smoke grenades, witnesses say
A stepfather and his stepson said the gunman at a Thousand Oaks shooting used smoke grenades and fired multiple shots inside the bar.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (KABC) -- A stepfather and his stepson recalled the terrifying moment gunfire erupted during a shooting at a Thousand Oaks nightclub that left 13 people dead, including the shooter.

Witness John Hedge was talking to his stepfather, Tim, when he heard gunshots. He said the security guard at the front of the entrance was shot.

The gunman was throwing smoke grenades and kept firing his weapon, Hedge said.

Chairs were thrown out the window as people attempted to leave the bar. Hedge heard 12 shots before he was able to exit the front door.

"I thought it was a joke when the shots started firing," Hedge said.

"I don't know how I didn't get shot," Hedge added.

MORE: Mass shooting reported at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, authorities say

The shooting happened around 11:20 p.m. at Borderline Bar & Grill at 99 Rolling Oaks Dr.

Ventura County sheriff's officials said there were reports of an active shooter at the club. During a press briefing around 12:45 a.m., Capt. Garo Kuredjian said they confirmed at least six people were injured. It was later confirmed the shooting left 13 people dead, including a Ventura County sheriff's sergeant and the gunman.

Hedge's stepfather said the gunman didn't say anything during the shooting. The gunman kept firing and reloading his weapon, he said.

"It had a good ring to it," the stepfather said about the shots fired. "It was just loud and he had smoke. He was trying to confuse people, and he went to the right and just started shooting on the dance floor."

Tim said he went back to get his stepson and left together.

"I was worried about my boy," he said. "I should've stayed. I apologize to anybody who got hurt or passed."

The stepfather described the people inside the bar as being 18, 19 and 20 years old.

"They're all young," Tim said. "This shouldn't happen to them."