Two of the victims shot dead inside a crowded country music bar in California have been now identified.
Cody Coffman, 22, and Justin Meek, 23, are among the 12 people who were killed in the massacre at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday night.
Sheriff’s sergeant Ron Helus, who was first on the scene, was also killed after being shot multiple times when he exchanged fire with the 28-year-old gunman, Ian David Long.
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.
Cody Coffman, 22, was killed in the massacre at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California on Wednesday night
Cody’s distraught father rushed to the bar after hearing the news as calls to the college student’s cellphone went unanswered. He is pictured showing a photo of his son outside the bar
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.
‘It’s there, it’s not moving, that’s the problem… His phone is at the club,’ Jason told CNN from outside the bar.
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 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 niece of actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley, was also still unaccounted for seven hours after the shooting
Meanwhile, ‘Sister, Sister’ actress Tamera Mowry-Housley has revealed her husband’s niece is still missing as frantic relatives wait for news of those who are unaccounted for
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
Alaina Housley’s uncle Adam, who is a former Fox News correspondent and is married to Tamera, rushed to the hospital at 3.30am in search of his niece.
The teenager is a freshman at Pepperdine University and had been at the bar with several friends. Her Apple Watch and iPhone appeared to still show her location as inside the bar.
‘My gut is saying she’s inside the bar, dead. I’m hoping I’m wrong,’ Adam told the LA Times.
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.
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 NBC Los Angeles.
‘I keep calling it but there’s no answer,’ Ken said. ‘It just keeps ringing out… he always answers his phone.’
Actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley (left) are still searching for their niece Alaina Housley (right). Her suitemate at Pepperdine University had posted photos on Twitter saying she was missing
A number of other parents rushed to the bar and used tracking devices to look up their children’s iPhones and iWatches.
Many of the devices are still located inside the bar and the parents say they haven’t heard from their loved ones since the shooting happened.
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.
Ventura County Sheriff 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 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