THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — One was a veteran police officer who didn’t hesitate to run toward danger. Another had survived the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Others were an “extremely nice” busboy and a Marine veteran who dedicated his life to service, including helping other veterans adjust to civilian life.
The stories of the victims killed in a shooting at a country music bar in suburban Los Angeles on Wednesday night are just starting to emerge.
Among the dozen lost, but not included here, are Blake Dingman, 21, Jake Dunham, 21, and Kristina Morisette, 20.
a Ventura County sheriff’s sergeant, was talking to his wife when calls started coming in about a shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill.
“Hey, I got to go handle a call. I love you. I’ll talk to you later,” he told her, according to Sheriff Geoff Dean.
It was the last time she would talk to her husband.
Helus rushed toward the shooting and immediately exchanged fire with the shooter inside the bar, Dean said. Helus was hit multiple times and died at a hospital.
Sgt. Eric Buschow, who said Helus was a friend, described him as a “cop’s cop.”
Helus took up fly fishing a few years ago and loved pursuing the hobby in the Sierra Nevada with his grown son, Buschow said. of serving his country, said his father, Jason Coffman, who wept as he told reporters his first-born son was among the victims.
Cody adored his siblings — three brothers between ages 6 and 9 — and he couldn’t wait for the birth of a sister, due Nov. 29, said Jason Coffman of Camarillo.
“Cody was the big brother that my kids need,” he said. “He was so excited to have his first sister and now she’ll never know. ”
He said his son was passionate about baseball, serving as an umpire for a youth league, and they went fishing together.
a new graduate of California Lutheran University who majored in criminal justice, cared for children with special needs, performed as a singer and worked at the Borderline bar.
Since last summer, Meek, 23, had worked for Channel Island Social Services as a respite caregiver, supporting families with children with special needs, mostly developmental disabilities, CEO Sharon Francis said.
Meek also toured professionally as an a cappella singer, said family friend Patrick Ellis, who called Meek a talented musician, singer and athlete and a “fantastic human being.”
Meek worked at the bar with his sister and fellow Cal Lutheran student, Victoria Rose Meek, who survived, Ellis said. young woman with so much life ahead of her, and we are devastated that her life was cut short in this manner,” the couple said in a statement.
Housley was bright, popular and well-loved, a student who had a 4.5 gradepoint average since junior high school and earned college scholarships, said her grandfather, Art Housley. safely, said Debbie Allen, a longtime friend.
The married father of two boys died doing what he was passionate about — protecting people, Allen said.
“He was a very, very big personality and had a very, very gorgeous smile,” she said, adding that he had once considered becoming a police officer.
His other passion, she said, was coffee. Adler recently opened his own coffee shop, Rivalry Roasters, in Simi Valley, said Phil Englander, another longtime friend.
A police officer wears a badge with a mourning strip Friday outside the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif.