Healing Garden Honors Victims From Borderline Massacre Fours Years After Shooting

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Twelve victims of the Borderline Massacre mass shooting are being remembered on the fourth anniversary of the violence.

A gunman walked into a packed Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on Nov. 7, 2018 and began shooting into the crowded restaurant.

A healing garden is built in Conejo Creek Park to honor those who died.

NBC4 spoke with two people who share a common bond after the Borderline Massacre, which stays with them to this day.

Michael Morisette calls them “empty chair” moments. When he or someone else in his family glances over at the chair his daughter, Kristina, should be occupying and she’s not there.

“She just missed a cousin’s wedding on Friday,” Morisette said. “Kristina got a new nephew that’s six-months-old and all he knows is her picture.”

That’s a daily struggle he says when the joy of seeing his grandson is tinged by the fact that the boy will never meet his aunt.

“We all lost the rest of her life to see what she was gonna do with it,” Morisette said.

Survivors of the shooting which left a dozen innocent people dead and 16 injured know a different kind of loss. They lived but so do the vivid memories.

Molly Maurer was inside the Borderline Bar and Grill when she witnessed the chaos, the fear and violence firsthand.

She says the worst of her trauma came in the weeks, months, and years that followed.

She considers herself fortunate that she found people like Morisette and his family because healing comes from being with others who share the loss and pain.

“The community is what helped all of us get to this four year mark,” Maurer said. “It’s important to keep that going and know that we’re all still here for each other.”

Morisette and Maurer are members of a support organization called “Give an Hour.” The group puts on events to promote healing from trauma through interaction with other people.

“What happened can’t be un-done,” Morisette said. “it was a matter of, ‘how do we cope with this, how do we get through this.'”