Thousand Oaks mass shooting: Father identifies son as one of 12 slain in massacre in heartbreaking press conference

Thousand Oaks mass shooting: Father identifies son as one of 12 slain in massacre in heartbreaking press conference

Victims of Thousand Oaks shooting were full of hope and heroism

Share Alex Lasker, AOL.com Nov 8th 2018 2:27PM The heartbroken father of 22-year-old Cody Coffman choked back tears as he announced that his first-born child was among the 12 victims gunned down at a California bar on Wednesday night.

“Cody was the big brother that my kids need,” Jason Coffman said during a Thursday press conference. “I have a daughter coming on the 29th of this month, and [Cody] was so excited to have his first sister,” he said. “And now shell never know him.”

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Video: Dad breaks down to media after news of sons death

Victims of the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting: 7 PHOTOS Victims of the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting in Thousand Oaks, California See Gallery Victims of the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting in Thousand Oaks, California Alaina Housley, an 18-year-old freshman at Pepperdine University was killed. Alainas aunt and actress Tamera Mowry released a statement saying her niece was one of the victims. Mowry is married to former Fox News national correspondent Adam Housley who said, "you just don’t think that — same stupid quote — you just don’t think it’s going to happen to you."

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Cody Coffmans father, Jason Coffman, identified his 22-year-old son as one of the victims killed in the shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.

California Lutheran University confirmed that recent graduate, Justin Meek, was killed in the shooting. The 23-year-old was reportedly working as a bouncer at the bar.

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Ventura County Sheriffs Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in a deadly shooting at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

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Noel Sparks was identified as one of the victims of the shooting by United Methodist Church Westlake Village on Facebook.

“Ive been here fighting for him all morning long, and we did just get the news that he was one of the [12] that were killed last night,” the man, Jason Coffman, told reporters, choking back tears. “His name was Cody Coffman, my first-born son.”

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“Only him and I know home much I love … how much I miss, miss him,” Coffman said, holding his fist to his heart as he struggled to speak. “Oh, son! I love you so much.”

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Cody Coffman, 22, a youth baseball coach whod planned to join the Army, according to his dad, was one of the dozen people who were slain when a gunman opened fire inside Borderline Bar and Grill.

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Telemachus Orfanos, 27, was a survivor of the shooting last year in Las Vegas, where a gunman killed 58 at the Route 91 Harvest festival last year. He had also been a Navy SEAL, said his father, Marc.

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“He was a survivor of Las Vegas and how ironic, right,” Marc Orfanos said. “And [he] was a bit of a gun enthusiast. … You know who I hold responsible for this — the gun culture, OK.”

Telemachus Orfanosvia FacebookJustin Meek, 23, an alumnus of California Lutheran University, was killed, as well. The university said he “heroically saved lives in the incident.”

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Cal Lutheran students said witnesses told them that Meek jumped in front of his sister and others to shield them.

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“Everything he did was really brave,” said Meeks friend Lala Lyman, who wasnt at the bar. “It was heroic. We lost someone truly great.”

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“Cal Lutheran wraps its arms around the Meek family and other families, and around every member of this community of caring,” the university said on its website.

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Justin Meek.via FacebookMeek graduated from Cal Lutheran in May — as did his mother, friends told NBC News.

Meek enjoyed the country-themed Borderline because he loved line dancing, pals said — hed even founded Cal Lutherans line dancing club. Hed promoted Wednesdays “College Country Night” event on his Instagram page.

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Sean Adler, 48, a married father of two, was working at Borderline to make extra money, his sister Valarie Adler told NBC Los Angeles.

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“From what I understand, Sean tried to disarm” the shooter, Adler said. “That is typical of Sean. He was a protector, always sticking up for people. He was a caring, compassionate individual. I just dont understand. I dont understand the world.”

Also gunned down while trying to save lives was Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriffs Department.

Helus, 54, was married with a son. He called his wife just before he went into the bar, where he was killed in a shootout with the gunman.

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Sheriffs Sgt. Eric Buschow said Helus “had every intention of going in there and ending that threat and saving lives.”

“Unfortunately, he was just met immediately with gunfire,” Buschow said. “Its a tragic loss for all of us, for the community.”

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Alaina Housley.via FacebookAnother victim was Alaina Housley, 18, a student at Pepperdine University and the niece of the actress Tamera Mowry-Housley. The university said she was from Napa, California, and was a freshman majoring in English.

Mowry-Housley and her husband, former Fox News correspondent Adam Housley, spent the night trying to find out what had happened to Alaina. Adam Housley, who went to Los Robles Medical Center at 3:30 in the morning to look for her, told the Los Angeles Times that he feared the worst because her Apple Watch and her iPhone showed that her location was still at the bar.

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Housley later issued a statement on behalf of Alainas parents, which said, in part: “Words cant describe our grief over losing our daughter, Alaina. She was everything we could hope for in a child: kind, smart, beautiful and respectful.”

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Madeleine Carr, a junior majoring in journalism who once interviewed Housley, said she quickly became a prominent member of the college community.

“Shes only been here since August, and shed already found her way into choir and mock trial and all these different facets of the community,” Carr said. “Usually, you see people just getting involved in one — not all. And she seemed to have found her way into a lot of peoples hearts.”

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“My brother was a veteran who wanted to help fellow recovering veterans in re-entering society and gave his all to supporting veteran mental health,” his brother Marcos Manrique wrote on Instagram, according to NBC Los Angeles. “He ran in to help people escape the violence and ultimately gave his life protecting others. Describing the pain would not do it justice. Ill be remembering a hero, a brother, and a role model.”

Manrique was the Pacific regional program manager for Team Red, White & Blue, a nonprofit veterans service organization, whose executive director, John Pinter, said in a statement: “Dans life was dedicated to serving others, during his military career and beyond.”

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Jason Coffman, 41, spoke to reporters outside of Thousand Oaks Teen Center, where relatives searching for loved ones who were unaccounted for had been told to gather.

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Cody Coffman.Courtesy Jason CoffmanCoffman said he had last spoken to his son right before he left to go out with friends to the Borderline Bar — a Wednesday night ritual.

“I talked to him last night before he headed out the door. First thing I said was, Please dont drink and drive. The last thing I said was, Son, I love you. That was the last thing I said,” Coffman recalled, melting into tears.

Coffman told the Times that he had been awakened by his sons friends pounding on his door at about 1 a.m. telling him that there had been a shooting at the bar — and that they couldnt find Cody, whod gone to buy his friends a round of drinks.

Blake Dingman.via FacebookBlake Dingman, 21, lived in the Newbury Park area of Thousand Oaks and had played baseball at Hillcrest Christian School, the Pasadena Star-News reported.

“We were really proud of him,” a great-aunt, Janet Dingman, told the newspaper. “He was a really fun, energetic and loving nephew.”

Noel Sparks, 21, was a student at nearby Moorpark College, the Press Enterprise newspaper of Riverside reported. Her death was confirmed by her church, United Methodist Westlake Village.

Two other victims, Kristina Morisette and Jake Dunham, were identified late Thursday. Little information about them was immediately available.


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