Names of Borderline Mass Shooting Victims Live on Through Art in Thousand Oaks

Twelve names in loopy lettering, with vibrant colors, and each with their own personality, stand on a street within the Thousand Oaks community.

These are the names of all of the victims slain in the Borderline Bar & Grill mass shooting.

For most artists, their work is a labor of love.

Ali Alinejad is using his love to try and ease the pain in his community.

"We have to do something," he said.

On Nov. 7, 2018, a gunman stormed into Borderline Bar & Grill and opened fire on a crowd of college-age patrons, and some off-duty officers.

Alinejad has lived in Thousand Oaks for 20 years. He wanted to honor each one of the victims, and create a way for everyone to remember their names.

"These are the letters of the parents that they send me," he said.

He created 12 ceramic sculptures, standing 8 feet tall, each one colored to fit their personalities.

Kristina Morisette's has vibrant shades, designed to match her creativity.

Her father Mike Morisette says it's a gift.

"To us, it represents remembering that person, that there was a story to each name. That there was a family, and a life," Morisette said.

Each name has carvings on the back, and notes and letters from loved ones.

For now, the sculptures are lining Paige Lane where Ali and his wife Esther have their Clay Studio and Gallery.

Neighbors have agreed to foster each name.

Morisette's sits in Keith Amador's front yard.

"I come out here every day and I talk to Kristina, just like I would talk to my son," he said.

And he says he has a unique way of seeing Morisette as a hero when she was killed.

"She saved six other people by taking six bullets. I don't know how else to put it," he said.

More names line the block.

Justin Meek and Blake Dingman's names are wrapped in the American flag because they had hoped to join the military.

Noel Sparks has a touch of pink to represent youth. She took ceramics classes from the Alinejad's when she was a child.

Alinejad feels like he knows all of the victims and their families.

"I thought it was easy to talk about after a year. But I am involved so much. It's still the same for me," Alinejad said.

He said he hopes his work will create a connection, and a way for people to mourn. But more importantly, he wants the victims' names to never be forgotten.

"This was something that didn't just happen to 12 families. It happened to hundreds of thousands of people in this community. So these names really belong to the community now," Mike Morisette said.

Alinejad is an artist sculpting 12 names, letter by letter, using his work and his love to try and help Thousand Oaks heal.

The ultimate goal is to have all 12 names displayed together.

Alinejad is hoping they can be set up in a park with lights and music, like they were lining the dance floor at Borderline.

See more coverage of the anniversary of the Borderline Bar & Grill tragedy here.

Contact Us