Here are two consecutive paragraphs from the Los Angeles Times coverage of last night’s massacre in Thousand Oaks:
“This is not something that happens in Thousand Oaks,” said Capt. Garo Kuredjian of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. “Thousand Oaks is one of the safest communities in the United States. For something like that to hit us on our doorstep is devastating.”
This is the second time this year Thousand Oaks has seen violence in a crowded area. In March, a man shot and killed his wife before attempting to shoot himself at the Thousand Oaks Mall.
It’s bleak but you can’t really hold it against Thousand Oaks. My own hometown had its own massacre back in September, and until I was reading that coverage, I’d completely forgotten the massacre in the next town over, the year before. Both of those were workplace shootings, the Rite-Aid warehouse and a place that made kitchen countertops. And then there was the one the year before that, in a sort of not-quite town in between, where two deputies got killed at a Panera.
When the Rite-Aid warehouse shooting was going on, Google Maps had the roads around it closed off in real time. For Thousand Oaks, the shooting has its own dedicated Google Maps marker. It’s part of the landscape.
Overall, when my part of the map got its shootings, not as many people went around saying these weren’t the sort of places these things could happen. Honestly, our end of the county isn’t awash in violent crime, but it isn’t all that nice. It was kind of startling it happened at the Panera, though.