Details emerge on California mass shooting victims; gunman identified as veteran

A sheriff's sergeant is among at least 12 people shot and killed Wednesday night in Ventura County, California.

Posted: Nov. 8, 2018 4:16 AM
Updated: Nov. 8, 2018 4:00 PM

UPDATE: One of the victims killed in Wednesday night's mass shooting at a Southern California bar has been identified as Cody Coffman, 22 years old, according to the victim's father. 

"This was my first-born son. I am speechless and heartbroken. My life has changed forever," Coffman's father said. 

A law enforcement procession could be seen Thursday morning escorting the body of Ventura County Sheriff's Sergeant Ron Helus from Los Robles Hospital to the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office in the city of Ventura.

Sgt. Helus was the first officer inside the  Borderline Bar & Grill to respond to the shooting, according to sheriff's officials. Sgt. Helus later passed away at the hospital. 

The gunman, in Wednesday night's mass shooting at a bar in Southern California, has been identified as Ian David Long, 28 years old, a former machine gunner and decorated combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps, sheriff's investigators said. 

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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- A popular bar, hosting a college country night, became the scene of the country's latest mass shooting late Wednesday night.

The gunfire began around 11:20 p.m., according to law enforcement. It was at the Borderline Bar & Grill. Authorities said hundreds of people were inside the bar at the time. 

Among the victims who died is Ventura County Sheriff's Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department. Authorities said Sgt. Helus was considering retiring within the next year.

During the chaos, one witness said the gunman was throwing smoke bombs into the front of the bar.

Colleges around the Borderline Bar & Grill are California Lutheran University and California State University, Channel Islands, as well as Moorpark, Ventura, and Oxnard College. 

The gunman died at the scene, according to law enforcement officers. 

An emergency information hotline has been set up for family and friends trying to locate loved ones. That phone number is 805-465-6650. A family reunification center has been established at 1375 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. 

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