Sympathy Flowers

The Thousand Oaks mass shooting is the 307th shooting in America this year. Today is the 311th day of the year.

12 innocent people were killed Wednesday night at a bar in the close-knit city of Thousand Oaks, CA. One of the 12 victims was Sergeant Ron Helus of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. Sgt. Helus confronted the gunman and was shot several times.

The gunman, a 28-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Afghanistan, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office of the bar.

Pastor Greg Laurie offered the following statement:

“Whenever these horrible shootings happen we immediately pivot to issues like gun control and mental illness. Those discussions all have their place of course, but there is another factor at work, in fact the most significant factor of all – pure evil. According to the Bible, there really is a devil, there really is evil, and because of this people can be be motivated to do unimaginable things, like a man walking into a bar and indiscriminately shooting people.

“This is why America needs to pray. We need to pray for the protection of people wherever they are, synagogues, churches, malls, restaurants and wherever else they congregate. We must also acknowledge the courageous efforts of law enforcement and other first responders. Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29 year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department ran in when everyone else was running out. Tragically, he was shot and killed. Sgt. Helus was a true hero. Let’s all continue to pray for the families of those who were killed. Their lives will be changed forever. They need to turn to the ‘God of all comfort’ in a time like.”

Rabbi Paul Kipnes published a poem about one of his congregants who was at the bar and was just asking “how do we deal with it all” after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, released the following statement:

Bishop T.D. Jakes asked his Twitter followers to join him in prayer:

Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, issued the following statement:

“What truly horrific news to wake up to this morning, that twelve young people were brutally murdered on a Wednesday evening that should have been fun, youthful and carefree. I’m heartbroken for my fellow Californians, for the families that have lost loved ones, including first responder and hero, Sgt. Ron Helus of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. May God comfort all those touched by yet another senseless tragedy.”

Vice President Mike pence requested prayers on Twitter:

Many of the patrons at the bar last night were also survivors of the Route 91 Country Music Festival shooting last October.

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