The mother of a Las Vegas massacre survivor who has been shot dead in the California bar shooting has made a heart-rending plea for gun control
Telemachus Orfanos, 27, survived the shooting at a country music concert in Las Vegas in October 2017, but was among the 12 killed on Wednesday at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks,
‘My son was in Las Vegas with a lot of his friends and he came home. He didn’t come home last night,’ said Orfanos’ mother, Susan Schmidt-Orfanos, in an interview with
‘And I don’t want prayers, I don’t want thoughts, I want gun control,’ Schmidt-Orfanos said with raw emotion in her voice. ‘And I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers. I want gun control. No more guns!’
The gunman in Thousand Oaks, ex-Marine Ian David Long, 28, turned the gun on himself after storming through the bar fatally shooting patrons, employees, and one sheriff’s deputy.
Telemachus Orfanos, 27, (above right) survived the shooting at a country music concert in Las Vegas in October 2017, but was among the 12 killed on Wednesday in a California bar
‘My son was in Las Vegas with a lot of his friends and he came home. He didn’t come home last night,’ said Orfanos’ mother, Susan Schmidt-Orfanos (above)
Orfanos, an Eagle Scout and Navy veteran, attended the local Thousand Oaks High School and Moorepark College.
He worked at Borderline Bar, as well as at Infiniti of Thousand Oaks, where he was reportedly a concierge and product specialist in the customer relations department.
In a cruel twist of fate, the Borderline Bar was a regular gathering place and safe haven for dozens of survivors of the Las Vegas shooting, where 58 were killed at a country music festival on October 1, 2017.
On Wednesday night, some of those survivors found themselves in a terrifyingly familiar scene, when bullets began flying once again.
Telemachus Orfanos was an Eagle Scout and Navy veteran who worked at the bar
People gather to pray for the victims of a mass shooting during a candlelight vigil in Thousand Oaks on Thursday
Brendan Kelly, 22-year-old Marine, was one of them.
‘I already didn’t wish it on anybody to begin with for the first time,’ Kelly said Thursday outside his Thousand Oaks home. ‘The second time around doesn’t get any easier.’
Kelly, a Marine, said he heard ‘pop, pop’ and instantly knew it was gunfire.
‘The chills go up your spine. You don’t think it’s real – again,’ he said.
Kelly said he threw two of his friends to the floor and covered them with his body. Then he got a look at the shooter and the terror unfolding and decided they needed to escape.
Kelly said he dragged one woman out a back emergency exit and then, using his belt, T-shirt and Marine training, applied a tourniquet to his friend’s bleeding arm.
Brendan Kelly shows his Route 91 tattoo on Thursday. Kelly, a Marine who was at Borderline Bar and Grill on Wednesday night, also survived the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting
Las Vegas shooting survivors held a Route 91 Harvest banner at Borderline earlier this year where they often gathered and developed a ‘family-like’ bond
After the shooting was over, Kelly said he and another Marine friend of his helped victims alongside first responders. Two of his friends were among those killed.
Chandler Gunn, 23, told The Los Angeles Times that a friend who survived the Vegas shooting works at the bar. When Gunn learned about the shooting, he rushed to Borderline.
Gunn said his friend, whose name he didn’t provide, escaped safely out the back.
‘There’s people that live a whole lifetime without seeing this, and then there’s people that have seen it twice,’ he said.
In social media posts, Molly Mauer said she was at Borderline and also survived Vegas.
‘I can’t believe I’m saying this again. I’m alive and home safe,’ she said on Facebook.
Las Vegas: People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after a gunman opened fire into the crowd from a 32nd floor hotel room on October 1, 2017
Thousand Oaks: Witnesses console each other near the Borderline Bar & Grill after a shooter killed 12 on Wednesday. The gunman burst into the bar around 11.20pm cloaked in all black
Las Vegas shooter Stephen Craig Paddock (left) and Thousand Oaks shooter Ian David Long (right) both targeted country music fans. Several people were at both shootings
In both Las Vegas and Thousand Oaks, country music fans were the victims.
Borderline features country music, and Wednesday was ‘college night’ and many young people crowded into the bar. The Last Vegas shooter targeted a crowd of country music fans gathered for the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
The Las Vegas shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, used more than 20 high-powered semi-automatic rifles. Long, the California shooter, used a single Glock 21 .45-caliber semi-auto handgun. Both gunmen purchased the weapons legally.
Police said they were unable to determine a motive in the Vegas shooting. Investigators are just now probing the motives of Long, a combat veteran who neighbors said was emotionally volatile and police said may have had PTSD.
Kelly has a large tattoo on his left arm memorializing the Las Vegas shooting, which left 58 dead. On his other arm Thursday, he still had his wristband from the bar.
When the Las Vegas gunman opened fire from a 32nd-floor hotel room, Kelly said he threw a friend to the ground before helping get her out of the area and into a room.
Armed with a knife in case an attacker came in, he hunkered down and waited with 40 other people for four hours.
A bullet hole is seen in the window of the Borderline Bar after a gunman opened fire on Wednesday night, killing 12 in the country music venue
Tim Dominguez who was in the bar with his son sits under the freeway distraught over the shooting. A gunman opened fire late Wednesday at a packed Thousand Oaks bar
He said living through Vegas changed his life. He doesn’t know how a second mass shooting will affect him down the road.
‘Everywhere I go, everything I do is affected,’ he said. ‘I don’t sit in a room with my back to the door. You’re always picking up on social cues. You’re always overanalyzing people trying to figure out if something were to go down, ‘What would I do?”
Kelly said the Borderline had become a safe haven for dozens of Vegas survivors.
‘It is our home,’ he said.
A few weeks after the Vegas shooting, Borderline held a benefit concert for five people from the area who were killed, and now-eerie social media posts show a number of survivors holding up a ‘Route 91’ sign inside the bar at a six-month anniversary event.
Kelly said he’ll be looking to God for comfort in the coming weeks and months.
‘I know that, being a religious person, that God is never going to give me anything more than I can handle,’ he said. ‘I’m here for a reason.’
Victims killed in Borderline Bar shooting in California
Cody Coffman’s father Jason confirmed his 22-year-old son was among the 12 dead victims.
The distraught father rushed to the bar after hearing news of the shooting and calls to his son’s cellphone went unanswered. Jason used a tracking app on his son’s phone and it indicated the device was still inside the venue.
He said he spoke to his son just before he went to the bar Wednesday night.
‘The first thing I said was ‘Please don’t drink and drive.’ The last thing I said was ‘Son, I love you’,’ he said.
Cody had plans to go into the military and was speaking with U.S. Army recruiters.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus
Ventura County Sheriff’s sergeant Ron Helus, 54, was first on the scene of the shooting on Wednesday night.
Ventura County Sheriff’s sergeant Ron Helus
Helus was shot multiple times as he and a California Highway Patrol officer exchanged fire with the gunman inside the bar.
He was a 29-year veteran of the department. He was speaking to his wife Karen when he received the call about a mass shooting.
The last thing he said to her was: ‘Hon, I got to go, I love you. I gotta go on a call’.
Alaina, the niece of actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley, also died in the shooting.
Her suitemate at Pepperdine University had earlier posted photos on Twitter saying that the freshman was missing.
Alaina’s Apple Watch and iPhone appeared to still show her location as inside the bar. She was at the bar with several friends who have all been accounted for.
‘My heart breaks. I’m still in disbelief,’ Mowry-Housley wrote in a tribute to her niece on Instagram.
‘It’s not fair how you were taken and how soon you were taken from us. I was blessed to know you ever since you were 5. You stole my heart. I will miss our inside jokes, us serenading at the piano.
‘Thank you for being patient with me learning how to braid your hair, and I will never forget our duet singing the national anthem at Napa’s soccer game.
‘I love you. I love you. I love you. You are gonna make one gorgeous angel.’
Justin Meek was identified as one of the slain victims by his family and his former college.
The 23-year-old, who was a recent graduate of California Lutheran University, worked at the Borderline Bar and organized the college night event.
Meek is believed to have heroically saved lives as the shooting unfolded, according to university president Chris Kimball.
During college, he worked in the school’s veteran resource office and often worked with the Veterans Club to plan events and help veteran students.
Meek also loved singing in choir and took part in the school’s Kingsmen Quartet.
He planned to join the US Coast Guard.
‘Justin was a criminal justice and criminology major who had a passion for doing what was right,’ Jenn Zimmerman, Cal Lutheran’s veterans coordinator, said in a statement.
‘I’m not shocked he took action to protect the people at Borderline.’
Sean Adler, 48, was working as a bouncer at the Borderline Bar & Grill when he was killed.
He was a wrestling coach who had only recently opened a coffee shop in the local area.
Justin Meek (left) and Sean Adler (right)
Noel Sparks, a 21-year-old student at Moorpark College, was also confirmed dead. The United Methodist Church in Westlake Village, of which she was a member, posted condolences to her parents on Facebook.
Sparks’ friends had been in tears throughout the day as they desperately searched for her in the aftermath of the shooting.
Blake Dingman, 21, was identified by his girlfriend as a victim of the mass shooting.
‘My sweet Blake… my heart is hurting more than words can say. I cannot believe you’re gone. I am so grateful for our little infinity and all of our deep talks, cuddles, late nights, and adventures,’ she wrote in a tribute.
‘I am so incredibly grateful for every moment we spent together. God brought us together for a reason and I will hold our memories in my heart forever. I love you with all of my heart my sweet boy and my angel.’
Noel Sparks (left) and Blake Dinghma (right)
Borderline employee Telemachus Orfanos was also among those confirmed dead.
Orfanos was an Eagle Scout who served in the Navy. Friends said that he was a survivor of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting massacre in Las Vegas last year, in which 58 died.
Survivors of the Las Vegas shooting regularly gathered in the Borderline bar for country music night as a way of offering mutual support and healing.
Orfanos’ social media indicates he attended the local Thousand Oaks High School and Moorepark College.
Kristina Kaylee Morisette
Morisette worked as the cashier at Borderline Bar and Grill. Family members confirmed that she died in the shooting.
She attended Simi Valley High School.
Kristina Kaylee Morisette
Manrique, 33, was a Marine veteran.
‘He had spent his entire adult life, post military service, helping veterans readjust to civilian life and had just recently accepted a position with Team RWB as the Pacific Regional Program Manager,’ family member Gladys Manrique Koscak wrote in a tribute on Facebook.
‘I have no doubt that he died a hero, shielding others from gunshots. He will forever be our hero, son, brother, and the best uncle anybody could ever ask for,’ she said.