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A Borderline Bar & Grill regular skips a night of dancing, and now he’s grieving the dead

Cameron Kraft was still shaken, as he stood outside a Thousand Oaks Starbucks on Thursday. For days, he’d been telling a friend visiting from Germany about this great “college night” at Borderline Bar & Grill.
It was a regular part of Kraft’s life — Wednesday nights. Mark it down. Every other week. He’s there. That’s when the Thousand Oaks social scene converged with country music and dancing. He knows most of the regulars, he said.
He and his friend Axel Disch, 21, were all set to go Wednesday night. But earlier in the week a Monday night poker game in nearby Malibu was postponed to Wednesday night. And Wednesday night went long.
Cameron Kraft (Photo by Ryan Carter/Southern California News Group)
A tired Kraft, 23, and his buddy decided not to go.
Then came about 11:40 p.m., and his phone started blowing up with messages
The place he loved to go on Wednesday was the next ground zero for a mass shooting in the United States, leaving 13 dead.
Kraft spent the day worried about friends, and reflecting on a decision that may have spared his — and his friend’s life.
He also spent it grieving with his neighbor, who’s boyfriend’s cousin was killed, he said.
“I woke up in the biggest shock of my life,” he said. “I didn’t think it was possible for it to happen here in Thousand Oaks.”
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Kraft said that even out of the chaos he was proud of his community of friends, who he heard stepped up to save each other, breaking windows to get out — tales of heroism.
Once friend, he said, was  Matt Wennerstrom , who, according to reports, ushered people behind pool tables and used bar stools to smash windows, which ultimately rescued several people.
“The community came together to get out of a situation that was so difficult,” he said.
Still, Kraft was pensive Wednesday afternoon as he and Disch ventured out into the city, stopping at a local Starbucks.
“I’m nervous to hear the other names,” he said.
He was tired of hearing names of people dying in mass shootings, and now it’s people who enjoyed the same social space he has.
“This is one of the safest towns in America,” he said. “Especially after Route 91, to be targeted at a small country bar in Thousand Oaks was just not what I expected. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.”

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