Billy Graham Rapid Response Team on Hand at Thousand Oaks Shooting
David Rogers | Staff Writer
Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are on-site in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where a gunman opened fire at the Borderline Bar & Grill last night. News reports indicate that 12 people, including a law enforcement officer who responded, were murdered in the attack. The gunman has also died.
The shootings occurred on “college night,” leaving the community of Thousand Oaks in shock and in mourning. The lone suspect, 28-year-old Ian David Long, was found dead inside the Borderline Bar & Grill after the overnight shooting. Authorities believe he shot himself.
Long was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
“Words can’t begin to describe the pain of such a sudden and brutal attack,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “We are grieving alongside the families of those killed and wounded in this horrific tragedy. We will be there to offer emotional and spiritual care, and the hope and compassion of Jesus Christ, in the days ahead.”
The deployment to Thousand Oaks is the fourth shooting-related response in recent days for the ministry. Crisis-trained Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains also comforted mourners following attacks at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa., a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Fla., and at Butler High School in Matthews, N.C. (which is just minutes from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.), over the past two weeks.
Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, appealed for prayer on his Facebook page, saying, “Would you lift up in prayer all those wounded and the families whose loved ones were killed in a shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, last night?”
In addition to the recent shooting-related deployments, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team currently has chaplains in multiple areas across the southeastern United States following the incredible devastation of Hurricanes Florence and Michael, including New Bern, Jacksonville and Wilmington, N.C.; Albany, Ga.; and Wewahitchka, Fla.
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