The Los Angeles Rams and their players are “heartbroken” over a mass shooting at a bar that killed 12 people Wednesday night in Thousand Oaks, California.
The shooting took place just miles from the Rams’ practice facility at California Lutheran University and the team’s offices in Agoura Hills. Many of the team’s players and staff also reside in the area.
“The Los Angeles Rams organization is heartbroken by the horrific shooting that took place last night in our community of Thousand Oaks,” said a statement issued by the team Thursday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and our entire community.”
Rams COO Kevin Demoff told NFL Network that the team will try to help the community in the aftermath.
“It is sort of surreal to be standing here on a [California Lutheran University] campus that’s closed today because of the incident,” Demoff said. “But we’re trying to figure out how we can help. Right now there’s a blood drive at a local high school, local hotel … how we can contribute to that.
“… We’re going to start there, and really work though the next few days with the community, with the sheriff’s department, with the victims. What’s the appropriate response and how we can lead in an inspiring way.”
Demoff said the team was already discussing how to honor the victims “in the right way” prior to Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Los Angeles Chargers echoed a lot of the same sentiments as the Rams did.
“We are deeply saddened by the terrible news coming out of Thousand Oaks this morning,” said a statement issued by the Chargers. “Our hearts are with the victims and their loved ones during this horrific tragedy, and we honor the brave and heroic actions of first responders who rushed to the scene to help.”
One of the 12 victims of the shooting was identified as Ventura County sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, who arrived at the Borderline Bar and Grill at 11:20 p.m. in response to several 911 calls, heard gunfire, went inside and immediately was shot repeatedly.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, who was born in Thousand Oaks and attended Westlake High School, offered prayers and support for his hometown.
Other sports teams and figures from the Los Angeles area, including Lakers star LeBron James, took to social media to grieve for the victims of the shooting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.