Kelly, 22, said he was dancing with friends at a bar in suburban Los Angeles on Wednesday night when the bullets began flying. When the gunfire was over, 12 people were dead, including a Navy veteran who had lived through the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history a year ago.
‘‘I already didn’t wish it on anybody to begin with for the first time,’’ Kelly said outside his home in Thousand Oaks. ‘‘The second time around doesn’t get any easier.’’
California Shooting Eyewitness Looked Right at the Gunman: It Seemed Like He Had a Vendetta
Kelly, a Marine, said he heard ‘‘pop, pop’’ at Borderline Bar and Grill and instantly knew it was gunfire.
‘‘The chills go up your spine. You don’t think it’s real — again,’’ he said.
The victims’ stories began to emerge Thursday as officials were still reaching out to their families.
The mother of the 27-year-old man killed in the latest attack, Telemachus ‘‘Tel’’ Orfanos, said her son survived Vegas only to die inside Borderline, less than 10 minutes from his home.
‘‘Here are my words: I want gun control,’’ said Susan Schmidt-Orfanos, her voice shaking with grief and rage. ‘‘I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts.’’
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She said she wanted Congress ‘‘to pass gun control so no one else has a child that doesn’t come home.’’
At a vigil Thursday night, survivors of both shootings gathered to honor those who didn’t make it.
Video: Video filmed inside Thousand Oaks bar during shooting
‘‘It’s hard to sleep after these kinds of things,’’ said Dani Merrill, who lived through the Vegas shooting and escaped the Borderline bloodshed at the bar by running out the loading dock. ‘‘You just don’t know how to feel.
Sergeant Helus had run to the bar with a California Highway Patrol officer, exchanging gunfire with Long, before being hit several times. Six officers from other police agencies were in the bar, Dean told the Washington Post, and a parent of one of the bar patrons said the officers had stood in front of his daughter during the shooting. Dozens of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and civilians lined the 101 overpasses as a procession moved Helus’s body from Los Robles Hospital, where he died, to the Ventura medical examiner’s office. Helus, 54, had been with the department for 29 years, was married, and had an adult son. He reportedly had been soon set to retire.
Video: Survivors of Las Vegas shooting were present at Thousand Oaks shooting in California
During Wednesday’s shooting, Kelly said he threw two of his friends to the floor and covered them with his body. Then he got a look at the shooter and the terror unfolding and decided they needed to escape.
Video: Deadly Shooting At Bar In Southern California
Kelly said he dragged one woman out a back emergency exit and then, using his belt, T-shirt and Marine training, applied a tourniquet to his friend’s bleeding arm.
After the shooting was over, Kelly said he and another Marine friend helped victims alongside first responders. Two of his friends were among those killed.
Thirteen people were killed at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, a well-known college hangout, late Wednesday night. One of the dead is Ventura Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, who was shot as he responded to the calls for help. The gunman was identified as Ian David Long, 28, an Afghan war veteran, who used a smoke bomb before opening fire with a handgun in the bar. Long is among the dead. Twenty-one people were wounded.
Chandler Gunn, 23, told The Los Angeles Times that a friend who survived the Vegas shooting works at the bar. When Gunn learned about the shooting, he rushed to Borderline.
‘‘There’s people that live a whole lifetime without seeing this, and then there’s people that have seen it twice,’’ he said.
“A lot of people in the Route 91 situation go here,” one survivor told the LA Times. “There’s people that live a whole lifetime without seeing this, and then there’s people that have seen it twice.”
‘‘I can’t believe I’m saying this again. I’m alive and home safe,’’ she said on Facebook.
In Las Vegas and Thousand Oaks, country music fans were the victims. Borderline features country music, and Wednesday was ‘‘college night’’ that drew many young people to the bar. The Last Vegas shooter targeted a crowd of country music fans gathered for the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Kelly has a large tattoo on his left arm memorializing the Las Vegas shooting, which killed 58 people. On his other arm Thursday, he still had his wristband from the California bar.
When the Las Vegas gunman opened fire from a 32nd-floor hotel room, Kelly said he threw a friend to the ground before helping get her out of the area and into a room. Armed with a knife in case an attacker came in, he hunkered down and waited with 40 other people for four hours.
Photos on Orfanos Facebook page show the Eagle Scout with friends at ballgames or at work. Some photos are embellished with patriotic graphics and another marks the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
He said living through Vegas changed his life. He doesn’t know how a second mass shooting will affect him down the road.
Twelve people were killed in the Borderline carnage, including a sheriffs deputy described as a “hero.” The gunman was found inside, dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.
‘‘Everywhere I go, everything I do is affected,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t sit in a room with my back to the door. You’re always picking up on social cues. You’re always overanalyzing people, trying to figure out if something were to go down, ‘What would I do?’’’
Kelly said Borderline had become a safe haven for dozens of Vegas survivors: ‘‘It is our home.’’
‘‘I know that, being a religious person, that God is never going to give me anything more than I can handle,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m here for a reason.’’
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