Seven of the 12 the victims shot dead in the crowded country music bar in California have now been identified.
Cody Coffman, 22, Justin Meek, 23, Noel Sparks, 21, Blake Dingman, 21, and Sean Adler, 48, were among those killed in the massacre at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday night.
Alaina Housley, the 18-year-old niece of ‘Sister, Sister’ actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley, was also killed.
Ventura County Sheriff’s sergeant Ron Helus, who was first on the scene, was killed after being shot multiple times when he exchanged fire with the 28-year-old gunman, Ian David Long.
Cody Coffman, 22, was killed in the massacre at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California on Wednesday night
Justin Meek, 23, and Sean Adler, 48, both worked at the Borderline Bar & Grill and another bar as bouncers. They both died in the shooting massacre on Wednesday night
Coffman’s father Jason sobbed as he confirmed that authorities had told him on Thursday that his oldest son had died.
‘Oh Cody, I love you son,’ he said. ‘This is a heart I will never get back.’
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.
His father Jason had earlier rushed to the bar after hearing news of the shooting and calls to his son’s cellphone went unanswered. He feared the worst when a tracking app on his son’s phone indicated the device was still inside the venue.
Jason said he was alerted to the shooting when several of Cody’s friends started banged on their front door after 1am.
‘Some of his girlfriends got out but they didn’t know where Cody was,’ Jason said.
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 bar where he was killed.
Meek is believed to have heroically saved lives as the shooting unfolded, according to university president Chris Kimball.
Alaina Housley, the 18-year-old niece of actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley, died in the shooting
Actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley (left) issued a statement saying their hearts were broken following her death
Meek (pictured center with the white hat) worked at the bar and is believed to have helped save lives during the massacre
Meanwhile, ‘Sister, Sister’ actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley revealed that their 18-year-old niece had also been killed.
The couple issued a statement, saying: ‘Our hearts are broken’.
‘We just learned that our Alaina was one of the victims of last night’s shooting at Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks.
‘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.’
Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus was among those killed. He was shot multiple times by the gunman after responding to the first 911 calls and later died in hospital
The teenager was a freshman at Pepperdine University and had been at the bar with several friends.
Her Apple Watch and iPhone showed her location as still inside the bar in the aftermath of the shooting.
Her uncle Adam, who is a former Fox News correspondent, had rushed to the hospital at 3.30am in search of his niece after hearing reports of the shooting.
‘My gut is saying she’s inside the bar, dead. I’m hoping I’m wrong,’ Adam had told the LA Times before her dead was confirmed.
Two of her friends jumped out of a broken window and ran for safety but say they lost Alaina in the mayhem. They are in hospital being treated for major injuries.
Meanwhile, Jake Dunham, 21, has also not made contact with his parents in the hours after the shooting.
He had gone to the bar to play pool with his friends, his father Ken Dunham told
‘I keep calling it but there’s no answer,’ Ken said. ‘It just keeps ringing out… he always answers his phone.’
A number of parents rushed to the bar and used tracking devices to look up their children’s iPhones and iWatches.
Many of the devices were still located inside the bar as the parents said they hadn’t heard from their loved ones since the shooting happened.
Jake Dunham, 21, has not made contact with his parents in the hours after the shooting. His father said he went to the bar to play pool with friends
There were roughly 100 people inside the bar when the gunman opened fire.
Many of those inside were students at Pepperdine University and others are thought to have gone to California Lutheran University – both are Christian schools.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s office said the victim notification process was ‘slow and methodical’. They said they were doing everything possible to notify relatives.
Authorities said Long was wearing a hood and dressed all in black when he used a smoke bomb and handgun to open fire at the bar.
Patrons screamed in fear, shouted ‘get down!’ and used barstools to smash second-floor windows and jump to safety as gunfire erupted at the bar, a hangout popular with students from nearby California Lutheran University.
The dead included 11 people inside the bar and sheriff’s sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department, who was the first officer inside the door.
Authorities said 21 people injured in the shooting had been released from various hospitals by Thursday morning.
‘It’s a horrific scene in there,’ Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said. ‘There’s blood everywhere.’
The gunman, who was a former marine, deployed a smoke device and used a .45-caliber handgun in the attack.
He first fired on a person working the door and then appeared to shoot at random at people inside, according to witnesses.
Ian Long, 28, is the gunman who opened fire on Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, on Wednesday
A shirtless man and two others carry an injured person out of the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, on Wednesday night after a gunman opened fire at 11.20pm
EMTs treat a victim from the shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill on Wednesday. In addition to the 12 innocent people who were killed, another 12 at least were injured