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He Escaped a Mass Shooting

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
July 24, 2023 3:01 am

He Escaped a Mass Shooting

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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July 24, 2023 3:01 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, a mass shooting took place on November 7, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, California, at the Borderline Bar & Grill, a country-western bar frequented by college students. 13 people were killed. Tyler Spady is here to share his story of survival and hope. 

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Stay free this week into your Xfinity voice remote. This is our American Stories, and every once in a while we just tell great stories about ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things. A mass shooting took place on November 7, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, California, at the Borderline Bar and Grill, a country-western bar frequented by college students. 13 people were killed. Tyler Spady was one of the roughly 250 patrons there on that fateful night.

Here he is to share his story of survival and hope. The week before the shooting, it just gives kind of a story to what Borderline was. It was a Halloween night where everyone goes and dresses up, and you have costume contests, and that night I went as the little boy and up in a full Boy Scout uniform that I borrowed from my neighbor, and my buddy Jesse went as Donald Trump, and the whole place was full of people in costumes, and my dad was in attendance, and my sister was in attendance, and everyone was hanging out, playing pool, creating friendships, lion dancing, and having a good time like you usually do at this place. And it wasn't just a bar.

Many people, when you think about it in the news, just think about it like that. But it was an 18-plus place where people would go to socialize in the college years. It was a really amazing place where I had been going since I was 18 years old, so five years prior to this happening, and knew just about every person who regularly went there, and especially my friend group of about 20 people that would go regularly and play pool and do the things that college students do. But saying that this even happened in this place, you know, Ventura County is one of the safest counties in the country, according to the FBI, and my dad, knowing these things, this was a safe place where he could trust his daughter and his son to go when we were 18, and it was clean, safe, fun, where you're never going to get in a bad situation. And, I mean, he had prepared us for something like this.

We all had bulletproof plates that he had bought us from a place called Defender Body Armor in Camarillo. So going into that night, it was like any other night, me and my buddy John was moving to Texas to become a firefighter. So he had come over to the house, and we were going to go out and see him off. And my sister, who was in Montana a few days prior on her way home from the airport, was in a car accident. So she wasn't able to attend, but it was an off night because the previous week was Halloween, so people were kind of burnt out from it, and they didn't want to go.

So we weren't able to get any of the people that usually come. I am thankful to God every day that Ashley wasn't able to come because I don't know what the outcome would have been, having my sister there, if I would have made it or if she would have. So I'm very thankful that that happened, and it kind of gives perspective on this whole thing, that every single thing in your life happens for a reason, and it's a good life outcome that I've taken from it. So we got there and saw my friends that I'd grown up with my whole life out front. So we kind of joined groups and went in together, a group of about 15 people, and started the night, and it was a good night like any other. We got there about 10, 15, and started hanging out with everyone and taking pictures and dancing, line dancing and socializing and creating friendships. Then about 11, 20, my ex-girlfriend, who I hadn't talked to in a couple months, asked me if I wanted to swing dance. So I went out and did a couple swing dances and went to the side and just kind of looked across the dance floor.

It was a feeling like this was the best life could get for a young kid. And then I texted my friends, and they said that they were near the bar. So I took a few steps toward the bar, and then I heard the first shots. And I immediately knew what it was. I knew it was a gun. But it was like you're in a gun range without any ear protection on with it reverberating through the room. And I thought it may have been a dispute between two people. And I turned to my left, and there was a guy all in black, and he had just shot someone in the front and then started shooting toward the bar where my friends were. And I didn't really feel any emotions.

I just was in shock that this was happening. And you could tell it wasn't a planned thing where he was coming in to kill someone. He was coming in to kill as many people as he could. Then he turned the gun toward the area I was in and started shooting. And I immediately dropped to the floor and went toward the wall near the dance floor. It is out of vision of the front upper level and placed my back against that. And then I remember not feeling safe there because if he went down, you could see me.

So I jumped over the wall onto a few tables and went under the tables onto push some chairs out of the way, some bar stools. And then there was a pause. It felt like I was in there for 20 minutes.

And in actuality, I was probably in there for two minutes or so. And when there was this pause, someone said, run. And it was like immediately every single person in the bar who didn't know what to do based on those words started moving.

So I got up and started moving toward the direction everyone was running in. And you've been listening to Tyler Spady tell the story of what happened in a country and Western bar not far from his home in Thousand Oaks, California, and at the Borderline Bar and Grill. And we all saw the story in the news and we've seen stories in the news like this before.

And when we come back, we're going to hear more from Tyler Spady and what happened on that night and beyond. This is our American stories. Folks, if you love the great American stories we tell and love America like we do, we're asking you to become a part of the Our American Stories family. If you agree that America is a good and great country, please make a donation. A monthly gift of seventeen dollars and seventy six cents is fast becoming a favorite option for supporters. Go to our American stories dot com now and go to the donate button and help us keep the great American stories coming.

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