Marine, Student, and Las Vegas Massacre Survivor Among 12 Victims in Thousand Oaks, California Shooting
From a Pepperdine University freshman to a heroic sheriff’s sergeant and an umpire for a youth baseball league, read the stories of the Borderline shooting victims.
The 12 victims of the Marine veteran who opened fire with a handgun Wednesday night inside the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks included at least four people in their early twenties, as well as 33-year-old Dan Manrique, whose four years in the Marine Corps included a tour in Afghanistan, and 54-year-old Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ron Helus. These are their stories, and this post will be updated as more information comes in.
Orfanus' mother, Susan Schmidt-Orfanos, told reporters Thursday Orfanos was a survivor of the mass shooting at Las Vegas' Route Harvest music festival but did not come home Wednesday evening from Borderline Bar and Grill. “I want gun control and I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers. I want gun control. No more guns,” she said. Orfanos was a graduate of Thousand Oaks High and went on to Moorpark College, according to his Facebook page. He then joined the Navy for six years before returning to civilian life in 2017.
Alaina Housley, 22
The Pepperdine University freshman went to the Borderline with several other girls from her dorm, according to tweets by one of her suitemates. Her death was confirmed by her aunt, Sister, Sister star Tamera Mowry-Housley, and uncle Adam Housley, a former Fox News correspondent. “Our hearts are broken,” the couple said in a statement.
Cody Coffman, 22
An umpire for a youth baseball league, Coffman was planning to enlist in the military, his father, Jason Coffman, told reporters. “I was woken up at my house by some knocking on my door. Some girls that were there said there was a mass shooting at Borderline where my son was and he didn’t come out,” the dad told NBC4. He said Cody had two younger brothers and was excited about the impending birth of a little sister. The elder Coffman recalled that when his son left home Wednesday evening, he cautioned him not to drink and drive. “Last thing I said was, ‘Son, I love you,’” he said, sobbing.
Justin Meek, 23
A recent graduate of California Lutheran University, where he studied criminology, Meek was working as a promoter for the Borderline Bar & Grill and had helped put together the college night event that came under attack. A statement from the school said Meek had “heroically saved lives in the incident.”
Dan Manrique, 33
The former Marine Corps radio operator deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, serving with the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, according to Task & Purpose. “His whole plan was to see the world and get leadership experience, and he was able to do that in those four years [in the Corps],” friend Jacklyn Pieper told the website. Manrique was also head of the Ventura County chapter of veterans’ nonprofit Team Red, White & Blue. “Everything he did was selfless,” Pieper said. “His whole life was based around helping others.”
Noel Sparks, 21
The United Methodist Church in Westlake announced the death of Sparks, a Moorpark College student. “She was a beautiful soul, I am so thankful for the times she was in my life, especially at my wedding this past October,” relative Bre Beck posted on Facebook. “My heart is broken over this tragedy. May you forever rest with the Angel’s in peace, you will forever be in my heart.”
Sean Adler, 48
Adler, reportedly a bouncer at the Borderline, had previously worked as a strength coach for the Royal High School wrestling team, which announced his death on its Facebook page. “He was transitioning careers and still made time for our team,” the post said. “He travelled with us through some of the roughest times we had as a program. He was positive, motivational, and truly wanted the best for the people around him.
Blake Dingman, 21
A former high-school baseball player, Blake Dingman loved riding off-road vehicles and was attending a local college. Dingman’s great aunt, Janet Dingman, confirmed late Thursday night that he was killed. “My heart has been ripped out of my chest. The pain of losing my first-born son is overwhelming. Blake I love you with such a passion and I will never get over losing you,” his mother, Lorrie Smith Dingman, wrote on Facebook early Friday morning. “You were so special, so funny, loving and incredibly talented in whatever you did.” Dingham was a member of No Sways Offroad, a California group dedicated to off-road vehicles.
Jake Dunham, 21
Dunham was hanging out at Borderline with his friend Blake Dingman, who also died in the massacre, when the tragedy unfolded. The 21-year-old’s father told local news that he spent hours trying to reach his son. “I keep calling it but there’s no answer,” Dunham’s father, Jeff Dunham, told NBC Los Angeles Thursday. He started calling his son’s phone at 2 a.m., when he first heard the news of the shooting. “It just keeps ringing out. And he always answers his phone,” the father said. Dunham, like his friend Blake, was also a part of No Sways Offroad, a group for off-road vehicle aficionados.
Marky Meza Jr., 20
Marky Meza Jr., who was turning 21 in less than two weeks, was picking up an extra shift as a busboy and food runner at Borderline Bar & Grill when he was killed Wednesday night, his family confirmed to a Santa Barbara television station. “Marky was a loving and wonderful young man who was full of life and ambition,” his family said of the Santa Barbara native in a statement obtained by The Daily Beast. “His family is devastated by his loss. Marky would have turned 21 on November 19.”
Kristina Morisette, 20
Regulars at the Borderline described Kristina Kaylee Morisette as having a big smile, welcoming face, and a friendly demeanor. The 20-year-old bar cashier and country-music aficionado was likely the first person to see the gunman from her post at the front entrance counter when he stormed the establishment Wednesday, according to witnesses. “I saw Kristina walking around the bar right before it happened,” her friend and shooting survivor, Justin Bouse, told reporters on Friday.“ It still seems like a dream. I just can’t believe it. I’ve been going there for so long,” Bouse and Morisette attended Simi Valley High School together and have been friends since childhood. “She was always happy and super genuine. She was someone I loved to be around,” he said.
Ron Helus, 54
Sgt. Helus, a 29-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, responded to a call of “gunshots fired” and radioed, “I’m going in.”