THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (KGTV) - It’s been more than two months since the deadly shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill that claimed the lives of 12 people.
“If anything it’s only gotten harder, as the dust starts to slow and the reality starts to set in,” Victoria Rose Meek said. She lost her brother Justin in the shooting.
Justin Meek, 23, was a Coronado High School graduate. He graduated from Cal Lutheran University with a major in criminal justice and a minor in music. Coming from a military family, Justin had a passion for serving and protecting others.
“This spring he was planning on leaving for the Coast Guard and wanted to serve in the coastguard, but ultimately he wanted to be a U.S. Marshall,” his mother, Laura Lynn Meek, said. “He always wanted to serve and protect.”
Justin worked security at Borderline, but the night of the shooting he was working with his sister as promoters for college night at the bar.
“I just remember dancing and making eye contact with my brother and his friends,” Victoria Rose said. “I remember turning and hearing the gunshots go off.”
She said she ran for an exit, but tripped and fell.
“I was on the ground, and people were running over me, and I thought the shooter was right behind me,” she recalled. “I didn't want to turn and look in case he was, so I laid there with my eyes closed until one of my friends came over and picked me up. I ran out the door, and immediately my heart dropped because I knew I wasn't with my brother and he was the first person that came to my mind.”
Justin was shot and killed in the bar. Police told them he was shielding people, and getting them to safety.
“The first thing that they said to us, was that Justin was a hero,” Laura Lynn said, “Justin had time to get people out and get the window broken when he heard the shooter reloading.”
Borderline Bar and Grill has been closed since the shooting. Victoria Rose says the future of the location is still up in the air, but she hopes it reopens.
“My hope is that we do reopen to some degree,” she said, though she says it doesn’t have to be in the same location. “Borderline is the people, it’s the community, and just like we’ve been able to pick up and take borderline to the Canyon Club, for now, I think we’ll able to do that when we find our new permanent home.”
Laura Lynn says they plan on setting up a scholarship in Justin’s name. One at Cal Lutheran University and in Coronado as well.
“Some people find it difficult to talk or don't know what to say when they approach, they don’t want to upset us, but I think what would upset me the most, is if people forgot all the things that Justin did, in the 23 short years of his life, and all the victims from that evening,” Laura Lynn said.