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People on social media are praising a survivor of the California shooting who helped others escape the bar where a gunman opened fire on Thursday. The gunman killed 12 people, including a sheriff’s deputy who responded to a call about the incident, at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.
Matt Wennerstrom, a 20-year-old who said he’s a regular patron at the bar, described gathering people behind a pool table as the gunman began firing.
“There was a bunch of us that were just looking for cover, and we were standing right next to a pool table,” he told ABC News. “And so we got everyone behind the pool table and down, and then there was probably six or seven of us dog-piling over the girls that were beneath us.”
As the shooter reloaded his gun, Wennerstrom said he threw a bar stool to break a window and helped 30 to 35 get outside.
“We just stood there basically forcing as many people out as fast as we could until we cleared everyone out and then we jumped out ourselves,” he said. “Then it was just trying to collect everyone and push them down and out of sight and as far away as possible.”
Matt Wennerstrom, 20, took over carrying someone who had been shot. He has blood on his t shirt. He tried to get as many people as he could out of the bar. #ThousandOaksShooting pic.twitter.com/LVZkftr8db— Brittny Mejia (@brittny_mejia) November 8, 2018
On social media, people celebrated Wennerstrom as a “hero.”
UPDATE: This brave man who saved lives by knocking out windows and helping people out is Matt Wennerstrom.— Dawn Y. McDaniel ♿️ (@justdawn_) November 8, 2018
We need more Matt Wennerstroms in the world.
Watch him in the video above.
Thinking of my friends in Thousand Oaks. Hope all are okay❤️#ThousandOaks #Borderline
Perfect example of “Look for the helpers.” Matt Wennerstrom’s ability to stay calm during such a horrific event is something to be admired. His demeanor after the fact is nothing but admirable strength. Kudos to him. #CaliforniaBarShooting #massshooting https://t.co/2mbAOP0iU9— SoccerMomRN (@RunningNEPA) November 8, 2018
People also called for media and social media to share Wennerstrom’s name instead of the shooter’s.
Matt Wennerstrom will get maybe 10 seconds of coverage and the shooter will receive 24/7 coverage.— CincyGirl (@KEverhard) November 8, 2018
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H/T Washington Post
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.