PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man killed in a Southern California mass shooting 9 months ago has been memorialized at a historic cemetery in Washington County.
Justin Meek was one of 12 people killed at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on Nov. 7, 2018.
On Wednesday, exactly 9 months later, Justin was memorialized at the Old Scotch Church cemetery in Hillsboro.
His family gathered to remember the young man who would have turned 24 this month. They told KOIN 6 News Justin was pursuing a career in law enforcement and aspired to join the U.S. Marshals Service.
Victoria Rose Meek was at the Borderline Bar and Grill the night her brother was killed. She said Justin saved her life.
“I was lucky to have my brother there,” she said. “There were so many heroes that night.”
Victoria remembered her older brother as someone who was “very, very caring and loving.”
Justin’s family tree is deeply rooted in Oregon. His great-great-grandfather, Joseph Meek, was the first sheriff in Washington County and the first marshal of the Oregon Territory.
Joseph was buried at Old Scotch Church and Justin now rests beside him.
Members of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service joined Justin’s family at the memorial.
His family said Justin would be proud to be resting at the historic church.
“To have him be a part — his memorial be a part of this church — means a lot to us,” said Justin’s dad, Roger Meek. “I know it would mean a lot to him.”
Every mass shooting that has rocked the country since November has forced Justin’s family to relive the horrific circumstances that claimed his life.
“It takes us back every time. It’s like reopening the wound every single time,” said Justin’s mother, LauraLynn Meek.
“It’s like a plague,” said Victoria. “I don’t know what’s going on. It’s sad that it’s just something that we just have to always be ready for at any time.”
Justin was studying criminal justice at the time of his murder. In a tragic twist of irony, he wrote his senior paper on the terrifying trend of mass shootings.
“He wanted to be a part of the solution,” his mom said. “This is what his focus was, specifically this type of situation.”