CLOSEThousand Oaks capturing: These are the victims

The father of Cody Coffman gave an emotional interview after studying his son used to be certainly one of the 11 victims of the Thousand Oaks capturing in California.

Telemachus Orfanos noticed an excessive amount of horror. 

First, he survived remaining yr’s bloodbath at a Las Vegas nation track competition, the place 58 other people have been slain. He used to be additionally at the Borderline Bar and Grill Wednesday evening, when a gunman, wearing black, killed 12 other people.

One of them used to be Orfanos.

“My son was in Las Vegas with a lot of his friends, and he came home. He didn’t come home last night,” his mom, Susan Schmidt-Orfanos, advised a local TV reporter. “I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control.”

Authorities nonetheless have not named all the victims in the assault at the bar in Thousand Oaks, California, about 40 miles west of Los Angeles. Police mentioned the gunman, recognized as Ian David Long, opened hearth within the country-western dance bar with a Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun, killing a minimum of 11 victims at the scene.

A sergeant with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department later died from his injuries after confronting the shooter. Long used to be additionally discovered lifeless within the status quo. 

CLOSEThousand Oaks capturing: These are the victims

Ventura County has arrange a Family Assistance and Unification Center the place capturing victims and their households can search assist after the mass capturing at Borderline Bar and Grill, Wednesday evening. (Nov. eight)

The bar used to be internet hosting an match for students and used to be crowded with 19- to 25-year-olds, Sheriff Geoff Dean mentioned. It used to be the deadliest mass capturing since 17 scholars and academics have been killed in February at a faculty in Parkland, Florida. 

Frantic scans of social media, then heartbreak

In the early morning darkness, family and friends rushed to the scene, desperately in search of their family members. They again and again referred to as mobile phones, scanned social media websites or recommended regulation enforcement for solutions. 

Alaina Housley, a freshman at Pepperdine University, had long gone to the Borderline to line dance with buddies. As phrase of the capturing unfold, her aunt, “The Real” host and “Sister, Sister” superstar Tamera Mowry-Housley, scoured social media, frantically in search of her niece. Mowry-Housley’s husband, Adam Housley, requested his just about 100,000 Twitter fans for prayers, as they held out hope she used to be OK.

By past due Thursday morning, alternatively, the couple discovered Alaina Housley did not make it out of the bar alive.

“Our hearts are broken,” they mentioned in a commentary. “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.”

At Vintage High School, Housley used to be an honors pupil who performed on the varsity football workforce and served in pupil executive all 4 years earlier than graduating in June. 

Vintage major Sarah O’Connor remembered her as a “natural leader and connector,” who used to be cherished by means of her friends and the faculty workforce. The faculty is providing counseling enhance to scholars and workforce.

“One of my favorite moments was when Alaina, who played violin in our orchestra, had all of the violinists play happy birthday for her mom one year. Her mom is an employee here,” O’Connor advised USA TODAY. “She did one thing particular for her mother, and he or she used her musical ability.

More: What we know about the mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks, California, dance bar

Related: ‘He died a hero’: Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus killed in Thousand Oaks shooting

Also: Some Thousand Oaks victims survived mass shooting in Las Vegas, reports say

“She used to be candy and type, a just right to the core particular person with nice values,” O’Connor mentioned.

Marcia Battat, Housley’s piano instructor from the ages of five to 12, mentioned she used to be extremely joyful when Housley mentioned she would proceed with track in school.

She recalled how the younger woman would display up for classes with a grin on her face –and a drawing or a poem for Battat in her hand. Housley used to be musically proficient and had a cushy spot for taking part in songs from Broadway musicals, Battat mentioned.

“She used to be very inventive and inventive. … She used to mention how she cherished piano and he or she cherished me. It used to be an attractive revel in for me with the intention to train her,” she mentioned.

On Thursday, Battat prayed Housley used to be no longer amongst the victims. “All of the recollections I’ve of her stay going thru my thoughts. It’s heartbreaking. I am nonetheless in surprise,” she mentioned. 

‘He died a hero’

Justin Meek, 23, by no means stayed idle. At Coronado High School, he used to be an Eagle Scout, president of the Octagon Club and captain of the JV water polo workforce, consistent with his RelatedIn web page.

While attending California Lutheran University, Meek studied legal justice and saved up his water polo talents, whilst additionally participating in choir and serving as president of Club Italia. On the uncommon unfastened time he had, he labored as a lifeguard for the town of Coronado.

Meek used to be operating Wednesday evening as a safety guard at the Borderline Bar and Grill when the capturing began. He died seeking to save others, consistent with California Lutheran and several other social media postings.

Meek used to be “a giant, massive beast of a person, a giant tall guy. He used to be a safety guard, however he used to be additionally a tom cat, certainly one of the sweetest guys in the global,” Tony Duran advised USA TODAY. Duran is proprietor of Goode Time Productions, which provides carolers equivalent to Meek to Disneyland and different Disney venues.

A classically educated singer with a deep, wealthy voice, Meek temporarily memorized all 100 songs in the repertoire and dreamed of making a song along with his female friend at Disneyland’s Club 33.

The two have been speaking of having married and their long term in combination as singers, Duran mentioned. 

“It used to be his dream to sing at Club 33 at Disneyland, and that is the reason by no means going to occur. It used to be her dream to sing with him at Club 33, and that is the reason by no means going to occur – all as a result of the silly selection that killer made that robbed such a lot of other people of listening to Justin Meek’s gorgeous voice. It’s mindless. 

“He was loved by so many people,” Duran mentioned. “He was just the sweetest guy you’ll ever meet. He was the guy you really wanted to have as a friend because of the joy he brought.”

Meek used his frame to defend buyers, Duran mentioned. “He died a hero. It’s going to be hard to not have him with us.”

Fishing journeys with dad and a job type to his brothers

Jason Coffman additionally rushed to the scene early Thursday hoping to search out his first-born son, Cody.

“I cannot believe it’s happened in my family,” Jason Coffman, 41, advised newshounds in a while after studying Cody had no longer survived the capturing bloodbath. “I am speechless and heartbroken. … My life has changed now forever.”

He will leave out the fishing journeys with Cody, he mentioned. He’ll leave out his companionship on the baseball diamond and the means his more youthful sons, ages eight and nine, appeared as much as Cody, who used to be 22. Cody used to be because of turn into an older brother once more: Jason Coffman and his spouse are additionally anticipating a child woman.

Tearful and exhausted, Coffman leaned on his spouse’s father, recognized as Mike, status subsequent to him. He mentioned he feared Cody ran towards the gunfire, no longer clear of it. “Cody is a tough kid,” Jason Coffman advised Headline News. “He’s one of the kids to run toward a bully, to stand up for others. I think that’s maybe what he did.”

Good with children, Cody used to be the head umpire for the Camarillo Pony Baseball League and had deliberate to enroll in the U.S. Army, Coffman mentioned. 

“There are so many people he touched,” he mentioned, “who are now going to be as heartbroken as I am.”


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Contributing: USA TODAY’s Erin Jensen, Chrissie Thompson 

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