Blake Dingman, a 21-year-old Newbury Park native, tragically lost his life Wednesday night when a gunman opened fire at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. Dingman is remembered by loved ones as “fun, energetic and really loving.”
Borderline Bar & Grill was attacked during its weekly “College Country Nights,” a popular event for the 18-and-up college crowd. Dingman lost his life when gunman Ian Long, a black-clad ex-Marine with mental health troubles, opened fire shortly before 11:30 p.m. local time, killing 12 and wounding several more in a horrific scene in which people hid in bathrooms and smashed windows out to try to escape.
Dingman was close friends with another one of the victims, Jake Dunham, who was also a Newbury Park native.
Here’s what we know about Dingman:
Dingman Played High School Baseball & Was a Truck & Off-Roading Enthusiast & Had a “Magnetic Personality”
Dingman played high school baseball at Hilcrest Christian School, according to Kyle Jorrey, the editor of the Thousand Oaks Acorn. His former baseball coach told Jorrey that Dingman had a “magnetic personality,” and added, “He loved the game of baseball but he loved his friends and family even more.”
In brief phone interview with the Pasadena Star News, Dingman’s great aunt, Janet Dingman of Thousand Oaks, confirmed that he was a victim.
“We were really proud of him,” Janet Dingman said. “He was a really, fun, energetic and loving nephew.”
His childhood friend, Tucker Gibson, who had been searching for Dingman after the shooting, told the Wall Street Journal, “You can’t go anywhere anymore. I came here from L.A. when I was two because my mom wanted to get away from danger.”
Dingman is survived his his parents and younger brother.
Dingman’s Instagram Page Was Filled With Tributes to the Newbury Park Native, Remembering His Kind & Easygoing Demeanor & His Love of Baseball
Dingman’s Instagram page was flooded with tributes to the young man, with hundreds of strangers from around the country leaving “Rest in Peace,” and “God bless.” Many people apologized to Dingman’s family for their tragic loss.
One user wrote: “Never forget our talks and hugs! Watch over your family from paradise,” while another said “Rest easy Blake, Ill never forget the time we shared on the baseball diamond. Another life taken far too soon.”
Those who new Dingman reminisced about good times on the baseball pitch, growing up together through elementary and high school, and how his “zest for life was contagious.” He was often remembered for how easygoing, kind and funny he was.
“Rest In Peace Blake you were such a great friend and always made people laugh. You will be missed so much. You and your family is in my prayers,” another user wrote.
Other Victims Include a Sheriff Who Ran In To Rescue Others, a Bouncer Who Helped People Escape By Smashing Windows & an Eagle Scout Who Survived The Las Vegas Massacre, Only To Perish in Thousand Oaks
Facebook/Ventura County Sheriff
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office says one of its deputies, Sergeant Ron Helus, is among the …read more