Victims Of California Bar Shooting Begin To Be Identified
The identities of the 12 victims who were slain in a deadly mass shooting at a southern California bar late Wednesday night are beginning to be released.
A gunman dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt entered Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks carrying a reportedly legally purchased .45 calibre Glock semi-automatic handgun and opened fire on a large crowd during the bar’s college country music night.
The suspect has been identified as Ian David Long, 28, a former U.S. Marine.
Here is a list of the victims identified so far by authorities. (RELATED: California Bar Shooting: Here’s What We Know)
Sgt. Ron Helus
Helus, a 29-year law enforcement veteran, was killed while responding to the incident. He was among the first responders on the scene and immediately exchanged fire with the shooter upon entering the bar, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.
His last words were to his wife, with whom he had just hung up the phone before he was dispatched to the bar.
“Hey, I gotta go handle a call, I love you, I’ll talk to you later,” Dean said Helus told his wife.
Thousands of people lined the streets in southern California as Helus’s body was driven from the hospital to a coroner’s office.
Hundreds of people line the highways and overpasses, many waving flags, for the procession for Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed responding to Thousand Oaks mass shooting overnight.
— ABC News (@ABC) November 8, 2018
“He died a hero because he went, he went in to save lives, to save other people’s lives,” Dean said.
Coffman, 22, was identified by his father, Jason Coffman, who said he last spoke to his son that night before Cody headed out.
“First thing I said was ‘please don’t drink and drive,'” Cody’s father said, according to CBS News.
“Last thing I said was, ‘Son, I love you.'”
WATCH: Father of 22-year-old Cody Coffman, who was killed in Calif. bar mass shooting:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 8, 2018
Coffman had two younger brothers and a sister who had not been born yet.
Before Wednesday’s shooting, his father says he was talking to recruiters about joining the military.
California Lutheran University was alerted Thursday that Meek, 23, was identified by his family as among the dead.
Meek was a bouncer and promoter at Borderline Bar and Grill, and died while trying to act as a barricade protecting those around him, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Justin Meek, 23, was a bouncer and promoter at Borderline who was shot trying to save others in the bar. “Meek heroically saved lives in the incident,” his alma mater, California Lutheran University, said in a statement. https://t.co/xiiaaxdzxW pic.twitter.com/HMhkp2wtJj
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 8, 2018
“Meek heroically saved lives in the incident,” the university said in a campus alert.
Housley, 18, was identified as a victim after she was reported missing by her aunt, actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her uncle, former Fox News correspondent Adam Housley.
Housley was a freshman at Pepperdine University. Her iPhone and AppleWatch still showed her location on the dance floor.
The world lost this amazing young woman last night. I look forward to seeing you in heaven Alaina Housley. pic.twitter.com/WdewVKkWFU
— Steve Rodriguez (@BaylorCoachRod) November 8, 2018
“Our hearts are broken,” the couple said in statement about their niece. “Alaina was an incredible young woman with so much life ahead of her and we are devastated that her life was cut short in this manner.”
Orfanos, 27, was a Navy veteran who survived the Las Vegas massacre in 2017.
Telemachus Orfanos, who went by Tel, was a survivor of the Route 91 Harvest music festival mass shooting in Las Vegas last year, his mother said. On Wednesday, he was killed at Borderline. https://t.co/9h9NcevNtF pic.twitter.com/VPy5NLTGNU
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) November 8, 2018
His father, Marc Orfanos, told The Washington Post that his son helped pull bodies and victims away from the gunfire at the Las Vegas shooting, and he suffered PTSD from it.
“I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts,” Orfanos’ mother, Susan, said in an interview with KABC. “I want gun control. And I hope to God nobody sends me anymore prayers. I want gun control. No more guns.”
Manrique was also a Marine Corps veteran who served as a radio operator in the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division and was deployed to the Middle East in 2007 with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Jacklyn Pieper, athletic director of veterans organization Team Red White & Blue, told ABC News.
Manrique’s brother, Marcos Manrique, told The Los Angeles Times that Dan was in the parking lot of the bar but ran back in to help people after he heard the gunshots.
Dan Manrique, 33, dedicated his life to service. He served in the Marines as a radio operator, and later helped other vets re-adjust to civilian life. His brother was told that Dan was in the parking lot when shots were fired — and that he ran in to help https://t.co/xiiaaxdzxW pic.twitter.com/Isscwk9Zuo
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 9, 2018
“I just want him to be remembered as a true hero,” he said.
United Methodist Church in Westlake Village confirmed Sparks, 21, is another victim among the dead.
Sparks was a student at Moorpark College and was active in the Church, youth group and choir.
Noel Sparks, 21
Noel worked with children at Calvary Community Church. She had been at the church the night of the shooting helping at an event for students before heading to Borderline Bar & Grill. #ThousandOaks #RememberThem pic.twitter.com/wMLvYArKY6
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) November 9, 2018
“It is with heavy hearts that we notify you that Noel Sparks was among the victims of last night’s shooting,” the Church said in a Facebook post.
This story will be updated as more victims are identified.
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