After a gunman barged into a southern California bar late Wednesday evening killing twelve individuals, Archbishop José Gómez decried the “horrible violence” and issued a call for peace.
“Like many of you, I woke this morning to news of the horrible violence last night at the Borderline Grill in Thousand Oaks,” said Gómez in a statement on Thursday morning.
The shooting took place at the Borderline Bar & Grill in the city of Thousand Oaks, which is 40 miles west of Los Angeles. The gunman is believed to have first shot the on-duty security officer before opening fire on the dance floor.
Twelve people, including Sergeant Ron Helus, who was a first responder to the crime, were dead as of Thursday morning and others left hospitalized. The gunman, whose name has yet to be released, was also shot dead by the police responding to the incident.
“Let us pray hard for all the families, for those who were murdered and those who were injured, and in a special way for the heroic officer, Sgt. Ron Helus, who lost his life defending people in the attack,” said Gomez, who leads the largest Catholic diocese in the country.
“May God grant perpetual light to those who have died and may he bring comfort to their loved ones and peace to our community,” the L.A. archbishop continued.
No clear motivation has emerged in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, which took place at a bar primarily patronized by college students.