Thousand Oaks: Las Vegas shooting survivor among dead

Thousand Oaks: Las Vegas shooting survivor among dead


A woman cries during a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of a shooting in Thousand Oaks, CaliforniaImage copyright
AFP

Image caption

A vigil was held to pay tribute to the victims of the shooting on Thursday

A man who survived a mass shooting in Las Vegas last year was among those killed in Wednesday’s attack in California, his family says.

Telemachus Orfanos, 27, died alongside 11 others when a man opened fire at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, north-west of Los Angeles.

He escaped death last year when a gunman killed 58 people in Las Vegas.

A number of survivors of that shooting, the worst in modern US history, have said they were at the bar on Wednesday.

“My son was in Las Vegas with a lot of his friends and he came home. He didn’t come home last night,” his mother told ABC News.

“It’s particularly ironic that after surviving the worst mass shooting in modern history, he went on to be killed in his hometown,” his father told the Ventura County Star.

Police have named the suspect in Wednesday’s attack as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a US Marine Corps veteran with suspected PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

He served in Afghanistan from November 2010 to June 2011, officials say, and was found dead at the scene.

Who are the victims?

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Media captionJason Coffman: “The last thing I said was ‘Son, I love you.'”

Telemachus Orfanos was a graduate of Thousand Oaks High School and later joined the Navy, according to his Facebook page.

The Borderline Bar is popular with students and was hosting a line-dancing night when the attack happened.

It is close to a number of universities, one of which confirmed that a recent graduate had been killed.

Justin Meek, 23, was a keen musician and California Lutheran University president Chris Kimball said that he had “heroically saved lives”.

Other young people caught up in the attack include Cody Coffman, 22, and 18-year-old Alaina Housley.

Ventura Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, who was due to retire next year, died in hospital after being shot several times.


How did the shooting happen?

Police say the suspect was dressed in black, and forced his way into the bar after shooting the bouncer.

He threw a smoke grenade before opening fire, witnesses say. Police say he used a legally owned .45 calibre Glock semi-automatic handgun.

But the weapon had an extended magazine, meaning it can carry more ammunition, which is illegal in California.

“It was a huge panic, everyone got up, I was trampled,” one witness told Fox News.

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Media captionSurvivors of California shooting describe what they saw.

People escaped the bar by using chairs to break windows, while others reportedly sheltered inside the venue’s toilets.

At least 10 people are known to have been wounded.

What else do we know?

Survivors of the Las Vegas shooting say they have used the bar as a place to meet-up in recent months.

One survivor, Nicholas Champion, said a group of them were at the venue on Wednesday.

“It’s the second time in about a year and a month that this has happened,” he said in a local television interview. “It’s a big thing for us. We’re all a big family and unfortunately this family got hit twice.”

“Borderline was our safe space,” Brendan Kelly, who survived both attacks, told ABC News. “It was our our home for the probably 30 or 45 of us who are all from the greater Ventura County area who were in Vegas.”

According to the website Gun Violence Archive, more than 12,000 people have been killed by firearms in the US so far this year, including about 3,000 people under the age of 18.

That number does not include an annual estimate of 22,000 suicides via firearm.

In the last two weeks alone, two people were shot dead by a man at a yoga studio in Florida, and another gunman opened fire on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11.



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