Matthew Wennerstrom, a California man who was hailed a hero for saving more than 30 people during a 2018 mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, died in a motorcycle accident last weekend, authorities said.
Wennerstrom was thrown from his motorcycle after colliding with an SUV on Saturday in the Newbury Park area of Thousands Oaks, police said in a statement To the Associated Press
He died at the scene, officials said. An investigation is underway into the accident.
On Monday, family and friends of Wennerstrom gathered for a memorial service to honor the selfless young man, who loved motorcycles, cars and most of all, his family and friends.
Wennerstrom put his own life at risk when he shielded patrons from a gunman, who opened fire at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, a popular local venue that was having a “college country night,”The night of the tragedy.
Twelve people were killed, including a sheriff’s sergeant, Inside Edition previously reported.
“All I did was grab as many people as I could and pull them underneath the table until I heard a break in the shots,” Wennerstrom told KABC-TV in a 2018 interview after the shooting.
His heroism included using a bar stool to break a window so people could escape. “I am here to protect my family, friends, and fellow human beings. I know where I’m going if I die, so I was not worried,” he said.
According to his loved ones, Wennerstrom’s actions on that night were consistent with who he was always been.
“It wasn’t just Borderline, it was before that — just in how he lived his life and how he cared for people,”His friend Carina Cendejas shared the story KABC-TV.
Wennerstrom’s friend and family, who are grieving the loss of a young man who has gone much too soon, said they have taken comfort in his faith and commitment to helping those in need.
“Everybody has come here to honor his memory,” Renee Matthews, Wennerstrom’s grandmother said, KABC-TV reported. ”He was so loved by so many people and he helped so many people.”
A friend shared with the outlet that he was overwhelmed by the support shown to his friend.
“I’m at a loss for words, honestly,”He stated.
A friend of the family created this website. GoFundMe. The funds will also be used for any future memorial services as well as the rebuilding of the Harley motorcycles Wennerstrom owns.
On Friday, they had raised nearly $4,200 towards their goal to reach $25,000.
“Matthew was loved by so many, and he touched so many people,”Josue Garcia, the GoFundMe organizer, said. “There are not enough words to describe the impact he made in the community.”