Jake Dunham was playing pool and just enjoying a night out when he was shot and killed at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California on November 7, 2018. He was 21 years old. His friend Blake Dingman was also killed in the attack. Both were originally from Newbury Park, California.
Jake’s father, Ken Dunham, told NBC News Los Angeles that he learned about the shooting from a friend of Jake’s. He spoke with the TV station while anxiously awaiting news about his son.
Ken explained that one of Jake’s friends ran over to the family’s house and banged on the front door. Ken said he had been calling Jake repeatedly since 1 a.m, but that his son was not picking up his phone. Ken said he knew something was wrong because Jake “always answers his phone,” regardless of the time of day or night.
He said that Jake had been working and trying to figure out a career path. Ken described Borderline as a “local hangout” and that it was common for Jake to be there with his friends. He enjoyed playing baseball and had been a member of his high school team.
Friend Michael Moses told the Los Angeles Times that Jake loved to go off-roading. He said that when the group rode into the desert, Jake was “the life of the party.” He also described Jake as being the “gutsy” one, who was always willing to ride his vehicles hard, before sitting around a bonfire with friends as they planned their next adventure.
His sister, Alex Dunham, shared a photo on Facebook of the two of them about to go riding. She also asked for privacy for the family.
A friend with the Twitter handle @monreichhardt wrote that she knew Jake from the time he was a young child. “rest easy jake dunham. even though i still remember you as the little brother who had to come to our 8 & 10u softball games to run around with my little brother, you were still too young on wednesday night.”
A woman named Blair Steinberg, who started a GoFundMe campaign for the Dunhams, said that the Dunhams were like her second family. She described Jake as “a hilarious, wild, and sweet man.”
The attack happened during the bar’s popular country music-themed night. The weekly event catered to college students. Hundreds of people were in attendance when the gunman, a military veteran with a history of mental issues, suddenly opened fire. The shooter killed 12 people before turning the gun on himself. A motive for the attack is not yet known. You can read more about the shooting and the gunman here.
You can read tributes to each victim, and see their photos, here.
GoFundMe has confirmed a verified fundraiser campaign has been started to help the victims who survived the shooting and the families of those who were killed. The funds are being collected by the Rotary Club of Westlake Village, where Borderline Bar & Grill owner Brian Hynes is a member.
You can make a donation to the fund here.