The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

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The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting
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Locals honoring the victims and survivors of the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting in Thousand Oaks (Photo: Ventura County Sheriff)

By edhat staff

Twelve people were killed on Wednesday evening when a gunman opened fire inside a Thousand Oaks music and country bar.

The Borderline Bar & Grill was hosting its usual college night which allows anyone over 18 years of age. The shooter, a 28-year-old Marine veteran, killed himself inside the bar making him the thirteenth death. 

The victims included a Ventura County Sheriff Sergeant who attempted to stop the gunman, bar employees, and college students.

Sgt. Ron Helus, 54

Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus was a 29-year veteran of the department. He was talking to his wife on the phone when he received a call to respond to the shooting allegedly stating, “Hey, I have to go. I love you. I’ll talk to you later.”

Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer were the first to arrive at the scene. He was shot several times and died in the hospital early Thursday morning. He was due to retire next year.

"He died a hero because he went in to save lives, to save other people,” said Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean.

A procession took place on Thursday to honor Sgt. Helus.

Telemachus Orfanos, 27

Photo: Facebook

Telemachus Orfanos, who also went by Tel, was a survivor of the Route 91 Harvest music festival mass shooting in Las Vegas last year.

His mother, Susan Schmidt-Orfanos, gave a television interview stating she didn't want thoughts and prayers for her sun's death, she wanted gun control.

Tel graduated from Thousand Oaks High School in 2009 and soon after joined the Navy. He returned home in 2017.

Cody Gifford-Coffman, 22

Source: Facebook

Cody had just turned 22 and was speaking to recruiters about joining the military. His father, Jason Coffman, spoke to various news outlets stating the last thing he told him was "I love you."

Cody has two younger brothers, aged 8 and 6, and a younger sister on the way as Jason's wife is pregnant.

Kristina Morisette, 20

Source: Facebook

Kristina Morisette was an employee of the Borderline Bar & Grill and worked the front desk. She was one of the first people to confront the gunman.

She's remembered for being friendly and always smiling. Several regulars spoke out about how nice and cheerful she was.

Alaina Housley, 18

Photo: Facebook

Alaina Housley was one of the Pepperdine University students who went to college night at the bar. She was the niece of former Fox News reporter Adam Housley and his wife, actress Tamera Mowry-Housley.

“Our hearts are broken,” Adam and Tamera said in a statement. “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.”

"We want to honor Alaina by focusing on how she lived her life," her family said in a statement. "She would have enjoyed the public debate that is certain to happen after this tragedy. But she would have insisted that it be respectful with an eye toward solving these senseless shootings."

Justin Meek, 23

Source: Facebook

Meek was a recent graduate of California Lutheran University, where he studied criminology and criminal justice, and taught line dancing at the Borderline Grill & Bar.

Authorities told his family that Meek died a hero. When the shooter opened fire Wednesday, Meek began pushing people out of the way to safety, one of his friends said at a prayer service at Cal Lutheran on Thursday.

Meek suffered multiple gunshot wounds while he barricaded himself between the gunman and other patrons, a friend stated.

His sister Victoria was at the bar when the shooting took place and was able to get out safely.

Meek’s parents are veterans, and he was planning on joining the US Coast Guard.

Daniel Manrique, 33

  
Source: Facebook

Manrique was a Marine Corps radio operator who had recently been hired by Team Red, White & Blue, a nonprofit organization that supports veterans.

His sister, Gladys Koscak, confirmed in a Facebook post on Thursday that he was among the victims.

“He was shot and killed in an absolutely senseless act of violence that we will never understand. He had spent his entire adult life, post military service, helping veterans readjust to civilian life,” Koscak wrote. “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.”

Sean Adler, 48

Source: Facebook

Adler was working as a bouncer at the Borderline when the shooting took place.

He's a longtime member of the Simi Valley community who was a small business owner who was also involved in youth sports and education.

Adler worked with the Simi Valley’s Royal High School wrestling team. “He was positive, motivational, and truly wanted the best for the people around him,” the team said on Facebook. He had also previously taught self-defense techniques and offered anti-bullying training to kids.

He opened Rivalry Roasters, a café and coffee roaster business, in August.

Noel Sparks, 21

Source: Facebook

Sparks was a student at Moorpark College and grew up in the area. She was also a regular at the Borderline Bar & Grill.

She posted a video on her social media page of the bar before the shooter arrived.

Sparks is remembered for her kindness and selflessness.

Blake Dingman, 21

Source: Instagram

Dingman grew up in Newbury Park and was at the Borderline with his friend who also was killed, Jake Dunham.

He was an avid off-roader who posted several photos of his 1993 Ford Ranger. His 

No Sways Offroad, an offroading community, announced a memorial meet-up benefitting "Jake and Blake" Monday in Thousand Oaks. “I know we’re all heartbroken so let’s send them off in a way they’d want!” the announcement said.

Jacob (Jake) Dunham, 21

Jake attended the Borderline Bar & Grill with his friend Blake. He's also from Newbury Park.

He enjoyed playing baseball and had been a member of his high school team. Along with his friend Blake, he also enjoyed offroading.

Mark Meza Jr., 20

Photo: Facebook

Mark Meza Jr., a busser and food runner at Borderline Bar & Grill, was killed two weeks before his 21st birthday. He would have turned 21 on Nov. 19, KEYT reported.

"Marky was a loving and wonderful young man who was full of life and ambition," his family said in a statement to KEYT. "His family is devastated by his loss."

He grew up in Carpinteria and in 2014 studied photography at Santa Barbara City College.

"Mark was loved by many in our community and will be dearly missed," the Carpinteria Unified School District said in a message to parents. "Please hold his family and friends in your hearts and thoughts at this difficult time."

(Sources: Buzzfeed, KEYT, Washington Post)

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Rinconer Nov 11, 2018 04:17 PM
The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

Terribly sad for the victim's families. Some real heroes died doing their job, in addition to Sargeant Helus, it appears the Bouncer, Girl at the front desk, Busboy, & the Line Dance instructor all took bullets because they died doing there jobs, possibly saving many others.

sea dog Nov 11, 2018 02:49 PM
The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

Gun laws only work if the courts back them up. Straw gun buyer in Chicago - Multiple felonies - Probation - https://www.guns.com/news/2017/04/17/straw-purchaser-with-4-felony-gun-charges-will-not-get-jail-time

sea dog Nov 11, 2018 11:35 AM
The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

The problem with Chicago's gun control laws are that the people there think long sentences for gun crimes are racist. People in Santa Barbara do not have that problem! There is a core group in Chciago responsible for gun crimes and they keep getting slapped on the wrist. One guy sold 26 guns to felons in a street gang. 52 felonies and they allowed him to plead to 1 charge and get probation - FOR 52 FELONIES !

Concerned4Calif Nov 11, 2018 11:32 AM
The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

Its a terrible thing these shootings. I think we to have better sharing of mental health records across government/military agencies. No criticism of the victims but I noticed 3 are under 21 which is the legal drinking age in california. Do the California laws allow underage people in bars as long as they are not drinking?

Bug Girl Nov 12, 2018 08:53 AM
The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

C4C- That night was 'college night' at the bar, which means adults over 18 could get in to the event to enjoy the music and dancing, but could not drink alcohol. Usually in these events, you must get a wristband to purchase alcohol at the bar.

sea dog Nov 11, 2018 09:06 AM
The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

Making honest people helpless does not make evil people harmless. Gun control made sure 6 off duty cops were unarmed at the concert. If gun control worked - Chicago would be paradise ! - RIP

oceandrew Nov 11, 2018 01:08 PM
The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

What people fail to mention when using Chicago as a model for failed gun control is that there are is gun control in neighbouring Indiana and the city of Gary, Indiana is practically a suburb of Chicago. But hey, what do you expect when you've been informed by the propaganda machine at Fox.

RHS Nov 11, 2018 09:55 AM
The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

What nonsense. Chicago is rife with weapons because 2d amendment nuts have blocked effective state and nationwide control. The city of Chicago cannot stop interstate and intrastate gun sales much less control the black and gray market transfers. Since the activist Supreme Court has ruled that people have the right to guns in their homes the basic necessary constraints on these weapons are almost impossible to implement. And 'right to carry' screwballs are pushing for guns in every aspect of our lives. My right not to be threatened by such people has been submerged in their macho hunt for power. I object but I won't shoot.

RHS Nov 11, 2018 08:38 AM
The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

Following the Pittsburgh slaughter I commented on this site that ceremonial/public sharing events were of no real value and that action was needed. My comments were heavily criticized and maybe even voted off the site. After this TO people seem to be getting the idea that prayer and hugs and burning candles only dissipate the energy needed for actual political reform of the gun laws. According to one source, there have been 304 'mass shootings' in the US over the past year. (Mass shootings being 4 or more killed or wounded.) These shootings are simple absorbed and forgotten. We are in a survival conflict with the gun rights nuts. We need to actually get out and amend the Constitution to restore the 2d Amendment to its original intent which was to allow us to band together for regulated public protection efforts, not mass murder for sport.

EastBeach Nov 11, 2018 12:33 PM
The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

It does seem as if the "guns at any cost" camp is counting on Americans to become numb. Money in politics is another problem - the NRA is radically opposed to any gun legislation and holds sway over Congress despite what most Americans want. As a single-issue lobby, the NRA vastly outspends based on direct contributions to candidates as well as the often overlooked contributions to their campaigns. The numbers are staggering especially when taken over the career of a politician.

a-1573716057 Nov 10, 2018 09:05 PM
The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

You're not safe anywhere anymore. The fact that some of the bar patrons shielded others at the cost of their own lives brings tears to my eyes. Susan Schmidt-Orfanos said it all. No thoughts and prayers. Action. Gun control now.

EastBeach Nov 10, 2018 01:36 PM
The 12 Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

So tragic. One of the victims was a survivor of last year's Las Vegas shooting. More bio's of the shooting victims here .......... https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/thousand-oaks-shooting-victims/

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