AP

Hero of California bar shooting killed in motorcycle crash

Mar 1, 2022, 2:19 PM | Updated: 2:26 pm

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Matt Wennerstrom, who helped people flee Southern California’s Borderline bar mass shooting, was killed in a motorcycle crash during the weekend, authorities said.

The crash occurred Saturday in the Newbury Park area of Thousand Oaks, police said in a statement.

Wennerstrom was memorialized at a vigil Monday night, Los Angeles TV station KNBC reported.

A friend, Carina Cendejas, said Wennerstrom “was special to so many people.”

Wennerstrom emerged as a hero in 2018 when a gunman opened fire in the Borderline Bar and Grill, killing 11 and wounding a sheriff’s sergeant who was accidentally killed by a shot fired by a fellow lawman. The shooter took his own life.

During the gunfire, Wennerstrom first shielded other patrons and then used a barstool to smash out a window, allowing many to escape.

“All I did was grab as many people as I could and pull them underneath the table,” he told LA TV station KABC at the time. “And then, till I heard the shots, till I heard a break in the shots, and then we got people out of there as much as we could.”

Wennerstrom, 24, was thrown from his motorcycle after colliding with an SUV, officials said. He died at the scene. The crash is under investigation.

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Hero of California bar shooting killed in motorcycle crash