Thousand Oaks community mourns mass shooting victims at vigil

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MOURNING THOSE LOST: "We're Thousand Oaks strong tonight." Hundreds of members of this tight-knit community gathered at a vigil for the 12 people who lost their lives in a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (KGO-TV)

The community gathered in Thousand Oaks City Hall Thursday night for a vigil for the victims of the horrific mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill.

MORE: How to help victims of Thousand Oaks mass shooting

Hundreds of members of the tight-knit community gathered, lighting their candles, holding hands, embracing each other, their heads bowed in prayer - all to support the city that, at one point, was named one of the safest cities in America.

"You might not know everybody's name but you're there for everyone," said Thousand Oaks resident Sara Willis. "We're Thousand Oaks strong tonight."

"I grew up here. It's a joke that we live in a bubble. But as you can see when it bursts we connect and we rebuild," Willis said.

RELATED: Thousand Oaks shooting survivor also survived Las Vegas shooting

The tragic turn of events at the Borderline Bar and Grill Wednesday night is almost too much to bear. Thirteen dead, including the suspected shooter, who opened fire on revelers at a country western college event.

"I just started hearing these big pops," said one survivor. "Pop, pop, pop. There was probably three or four. I hit the ground and I look up, the security guard's dead."

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That security guard, Sean Adler, who is to many, like Karen Cormier, a dear friend.

"I've also learned of other people that I know that were involved it's devastating. This is Thousand Oaks. This is middle America. This is - It just shouldn't happen here. It shouldn't happen anywhere," Cormier said.

VIDEO: Remembering slain security guard Sean Adler
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A close friend of bouncer Sean Adler, who was killed during the Thousand Oaks mass shooting, remembers him as a small business owner with a dream and the father of two young boys.



As thousands packed the performing arts center for the vigil-hundreds more overflowed into the courtyard nearby. The comfort of being together is what this community needs.

"And everybody's gathered here tonight and my heart is broken," Cormier said. "I've got to believe that we are somehow going to find a way to stop this."

PHOTOS: Mass shooting at nightclub in Thousand Oaks, California
See more stories, photos, and videos on Thousand Oaks mass shooting.

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