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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Monday November 6th, 2023 :: 07:06 p.m. PST


Death Investigation

Nature of Incident: Death Investigation
Report Number: 23-142110
Location: Westlake Boulevard and Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks
Date & Time: 11/05/2023 at 3:20 PM
Unit(s) Responsible: Thousand Oaks Investigations Bureau, Ventura County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau, Ventura County Crime Scene Investigations, Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence

(V) Paul Kessler Thousand Oaks  
A 69-year-old man, identified as Paul Kessler, died as a result of injuries sustained during an altercation at a Pro-Israeli / Pro-Palestinian event, both of which were occurring simultaneously at the intersection of Westlake Blvd. and Thousand Oaks Blvd.  The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident and has not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime.   
On November 5, 2023, at approximately 3:20 PM, multiple citizens called the Ventura County Sheriff’s Communication Center to report a battery had occurred at the intersection of Westlake Boulevard and Thousand Oaks Boulevard in the City of Thousand Oaks. The intersection was the location of a Pro-Israeli / Pro-Palestinian demonstration.
Upon arrival, responding deputies located Kessler, who was suffering from a head injury.  Witness accounts indicated that Kessler was involved in a physical altercation with counter-protestor(s).  During the altercation, Kessler fell backwards and struck his head on the ground. Kessler was transported to an area hospital for advanced medical treatment. On November 6, 2023, Kessler succumbed to his injuries.
An autopsy was performed on November 6th and the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death to be blunt force head injury and the manner of death homicide.
This is an active and ongoing investigation, and the incident appears to be isolated and not part of a large effort.   
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is requesting assistance from the public regarding this ongoing investigation.  Anyone who witnessed or has knowledge of the incident, or who was present at the demonstration is encouraged to contact Detective Stump at (805) 384-4745.
If you prefer to remain anonymous you may contact Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).  Those who wish to share video or pictures of the incident can do so and can remain anonymous by using the following link: or by scanning the following QR code:

Prepared by: Detective Michael Marco
Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau
News Release Date: November 6, 2023  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Captain Dean Worthy
(805) 654-2417
[email protected]
Senerey De Los Santos
(805) 654-3019
[email protected]
Sergeant Rob Yoos
(805) 654-2385
[email protected]
Approved by:
Captain Victor Medina
Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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