(Reuters) - A police veteran, college students and the niece of an actress were among the victims of a deadly shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, a suburb 40 miles (64 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
A gunman identified as Ian David Long fatally shot 12 people before he apparently killed himself, law enforcement officials said.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department had not released an official list of all victims as of Friday but family members, friends and local media outlets have identified them.
Helus, a Ventura County Sheriff’s Office sergeant and 29-year police veteran, was among the first officers to arrive at the bar to confront the gunman. Police officials said he was planning to retire within the next couple of years. Helus, 54, was an avid fisher, according to photos on his Facebook profile. The sheriff’s office said he left behind a wife and son.
Manrique, 33, a Marine Corps veteran like the shooter, worked to help other veterans reacclimate to civilian life as head of his local chapter of Team Red, White and Blue, a national veterans community organisation.
“I have no doubt that he died a hero, shielding others from gunshots,” a relative, Gladys Manrique Koscak, said on Facebook. “He will forever be our hero, son, brother, and the best uncle anybody could ever ask for.”
Orfanos, of Thousand Oaks, had survived the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017 in which 58 people died, said his friend, Carl Edgar, 24, of Los Angeles.
“Tel was charismatic, funny, always putting a smile on people’s faces, always protecting everyone, making sure that everyone was taken care of,” Edgar said.
His mother, Susan Schmidt-Orfanos, told ABC News on Friday that she wants gun control legislation now.
“I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts,” she said. “I want gun control and I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers.”
Jason Coffman told reporters on Thursday that his 22-year-old son, Cody, was among the dead, adding that his son was outgoing, outspoken and the kind of man who would act heroically.
“I cannot believe it’s happened to my family, Jason Coffman said. “I’m speechless and heartbroken.”
Sparks was identified as one of the victims by United Methodist Church Westlake Village, where she had been a part of their congregation. One of her friends, Sarah Penrose, wrote online that Sparks left behind a “legacy of selfless-servitude.”
“She was always so joyful to help others and fill needs,” Penrose said. “Wishing I could have spent more time with her before this happened.”
Pepperdine University student Housley, 18, niece of actress and talk show host Tamera Mowry-Housley, was kind, smart, beautiful and respectful, her parents said in a statement.
“She would have enjoyed the public debate that is certain to happen after this tragedy,” the statement said. “But she would have insisted that it be respectful with an eye toward solving these senseless shootings.”
Adler was a security guard at the Borderline Bar and the owner of Rivalry Roasters, a coffee shop that opened in last year in nearby Simi Valley, according to one of his close friends, Karen Cormier, on Facebook.
“We’re devastated,” Cormier said.
Meza, 20, grew up in Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, northwest of Thousand Oaks, according to local television station KEYT.
“Marky was a loving and wonderful young man who was full of life and ambition,” his family said in a statement to the station. It added that Meza was just about to turn 21.
A California Lutheran University graduate, Meek had “heroically saved lives” before being gunned down in the incident, according to reports by NBC News, citing university officials. Meek enjoyed Borderline because he loved line dancing and even founded Cal Lutheran’s line dancing club.
“He was a phenomenal singer, a phenomenal dancer and a phenomenal friend,” said Carl Edgar, who was friends with Meek.
Morisette worked as the cashier at the Borderline, ABC13 reported.
“Kristina was just a ball of life,” said her friend Alexis Tait, 23. “If you were upset or in a bad mood, she was the person that would cheer you up even if she was upset. She would always put other people before herself.”
Dingman had played baseball at the Hillcrest Christian School in Thousand Oaks, according to the school’s website.
“We were really proud of him,” his aunt, Janet Dingman, told local media. “He was a really fun, energetic and loving nephew.”
Dunham, 21, of Newbury Park, California, was a close friend of Dingman’s, ABC News reported, citing family.
“Rest In Peace Jake. You were such a cool person. I wish you didn’t have to go it’s not fair at all,” Aaron Letulier wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
Reporting by Gina Cherelus and Gabriella Borter in New York and Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; editing by Bill Trott and David Gregorio