Brendan Kelly speaks with reporters outside his home, as he shows his Route 91 tattoo, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Kelly, a Marine who was at Borderline Bar and Grill on Wednesday night, helped people get out after a gunman opened fire at the establishment. Kelly also survived the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in 2017. (AP Photo/Ryan Pearson)
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Some survivors of bar shooting also lived through Vegas massacre

17 Comments
By KATHLEEN RONAYNE and AMANDA LEE MYERS

Southern California's Borderline Bar and Grill had become a safe haven for dozens of survivors of last year's massacre at a Las Vegas country music festival, a place where they gathered for line dancing and drinks.

On Wednesday night, some of those survivors found themselves in a terrifyingly familiar scene, when bullets began flying once again.

Brendan Kelly, 22-year-old Marine, was one of them.

"I already didn't wish it on anybody to begin with for the first time," Kelly said Thursday outside his Thousand Oaks home. "The second time around doesn't get any easier."

Kelly, a Marine, said he heard "pop, pop" and instantly knew it was gunfire.

"The chills go up your spine. You don't think it's real — again," he said.

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.

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 of his helped victims alongside first responders. Two of his friends were among those killed.

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.

Gunn said his friend, whose name he didn't provide, escaped safely out the back.

"There's people that live a whole lifetime without seeing this, and then there's people that have seen it twice," he said.

In social media posts, Molly Mauer said she was at Borderline and also survived Vegas.

"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" and many young people crowded into 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 left killed 58 dead. On his other arm Thursday, he still had his wristband from the 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.

He said living through Vegas changed his life. He doesn't know how a second mass shooting will affect him down the road.

"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 the Borderline had become a safe haven for dozens of Vegas survivors.

"It is our home," he said.

A few weeks after the Vegas shooting, Borderline held a benefit concert for five people from the area who were killed, and now-eerie social media posts show a number of survivors holding up a "Route 91" sign inside the bar at a six-month anniversary event.

Kelly said he'll be looking to God for comfort in the coming weeks and months.

"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."

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.


17 Comments
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Wow, the American gun stupidity has got to the point where they are so common that some people aren't just experiencing them once in their life, but now multiple times.

This will only increase. Americans are thirsty for bullets in their faces.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

So the country is already effectively a war zone.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

So the country is already effectively a war zone.

Yep, thanks to conservatives, Trump, and his supporters.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

And Americans are worried about immigrants.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

But nothing will change. Im surprised there hasn't been a crazy person trying to shoot the people at the top of the gun industry like the leaders of the nra. Fighting fire with fire.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Land of the Free.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"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.

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."

This Marine is a hero.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So glad I do not live in that country. And so sorry for those that do and have to deal with that madness.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That's OK, rainyday, we don't need you. Question: If the U.S. is sooooo bad, why do all these migrants want to come here?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Serrano - because US- manufactured arms flood their countries.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

If the U.S. is sooooo bad, why do all these migrants want to come here?

For the same reason you don’t want to go there.

But you don’t see first worlders flocking to the US. People with money go to first world nations.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It was the REPUBLICANS who voted to allow people with pre-existing mental illness to buy firearms, yet deny them health insurance to treat their pre-existing mental illness. Every election cycle, we continue to enable THEM to enable these shooters, over and over again. Wake up America!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This Marine is a hero.

All Marines are heroes. That Marine, unfortunately, was forced into the spotlight because of someone with too easy access to a firearm. True Marines do not seek validation from the media, populace, or anonymous internet posters. Have a modicum of respect.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

That's OK, rainyday, we don't need you. Question: If the U.S. is sooooo bad, why do all these migrants want to come here?

Why are you asking me? I just said I don’t want to go there.

For those of us with options, avoiding a place where being a victim of more than one random mass shooting over the space of less than two years is a no brainer. If you live in a violent, poor part of the world where you are being exposed to that risk already, I guess you got nothing to lose so why not give it a try.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Do wonder

How many lives were saved because a good guy had an easy access to guns

vs.

How many lives were lost because a bad guy had an easy access to guns

Ya don't know if someone will later turn out to be a good guy or a bad guy, after guns have already been legally purchased - but by then, it's already too late regardless

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Serrano

This Marine is a hero.

Chip Star

All Marines are heroes. ....

Have a modicum of respect.

Pull your head in, mate. Another ex-Marine went into a bar and killed 12 innocent people, including a cop. Hero indeed.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I can comprehend this may have been caused by PTSD and manic/severe depression as the person was a veteran. So I see this differently than other mass shooting incidents.

And once again, "mentally unstable" with access to firearms... This is why psyche evaluations, an a whole slew of other requirements are needed besides the chump change background checks to purchase fire arms. It should be at the point where if you're getting law enforcement called on you for violent domestic incidents, you should probably be receiving more scrutiny attempting to purchase firearms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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