ST. PETER, Minn. (WCCO) — The tragedy in Thousand Oaks, Calif., hits close to the community at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.
The scene of the shooting — the Borderline Bar — lies just four miles from California Lutheran University, a sister school to Gustavus.
Cal Lutheran canceled classes on Thursday and Friday as some of its students were at the bar during the shooting.
One of the victims, 23-year-old Justin Meek, had just graduated from the university.
Both Cal Lutheran and Gustavus are affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, which includes 26 colleges across the country, including four in Minnesota.
“It’s a very tightly-knit group of communities and we are just heartbroken about what’s happened in California,” said President Rebecca Bergman.
At daily mass in St. Peter, they held a moment of silence and lit a candle for support, solidarity and prayer.
“It feels as though we are connected because of our affiliation with the Lutheran colleges and that brings it home in a way… it hurts,” said Bergman.