Borderline Bar Shooting Victim’s Father Confirms His Death
A 22-year-old man named Cody Coffman is among the 12 people dead after a mass shooting at a country bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Wednesday night (Nov. 7), his father has confirmed.
Coffman's father, Jason Coffman, confirmed his son's death in a wrenching press conference in front of the hospital on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 8). Coffman fought back tears as he told reporters, "You all know that I was in here fighting for him all morning long, and we did just get the news that he was one of the 11 that were killed last night."
Cody was Coffman's first-born son, and he wept as he said, "Only him and I know how much I loved him, how much I miss him. Oh, son, I love you so much," he said softly, shaking his head from side to side.
Coffman last spoke to his son on Wednesday night as he headed out the door to go to the bar.
"First thing I said was, 'Please don't drink and drive,'" he shares, according to ABC News. "Last thing I said was, 'Son, I love you.'"
Twelve people died when 28-year-old Ian David Long walked into the Borderline Bar & Grill late Wednesday night, set off a smoke device and opened fire with a handgun on the patrons who were assembled there for a college country night. At least one more person sustained a gunshot wound, and at least 15 more suffered various injuries as they tried to escape the shooting spree.
Alaina Housley, the niece of former Fox News reporter Adam Housley and Sister, Sister actress Tamera Mowry-Housley, also died in the shooting, along with 23-year-old Justin Meek, who recently graduated from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. In a statement, the university said Meeks "heroically saved lives" during the massacre. Other confirmed victims include Sean Adler and 21-year-old Blake Dingman.
Ventura County Sgt. Ron Helus died after he was struck by multiple shots when he responded to the scene within three minutes of the first reports of gunfire. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean hailed Sgt. Helus — a 29-year law enforcement veteran who had a wife and son — for his bravery. Helus intended to retire in a year.
"He gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero," Dean said (quote via NBC News). "He went in to save lives, to save people."
Incredibly, some of the survivors of the Thousand Oaks shooting also survived the mass shooting that took place at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in October of 2017.
Long has been described as a Marine veteran with PTSD. He was found dead at the scene, and investigators have said they believe he took his own life.
John Rich, Charlie Daniels, Morgan Wallen. LeAnn Rimes, Margo Price and more were among the artists who responded to the tragedy on Twitter Thursday.
Note: These pictures taken from the area around the shooting are not graphic, but may be disturbing.
See Photos From Outside California's Borderline Bar Shooting