California bar patron saves dozens of people during deadly shooting

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What could not be counted on would be a gunman, armed with a Glock 21.45-caliber handgun, to begin indiscriminately firing into those throngs of happy people.

A man holds his head in his hands outside the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, following the shooting.

By the end of the violent spree, 11 people were dead.

Helus loved to go fishing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with his son, according to Sgt. Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, who worked with him for 29 years.

In a separate interview, the father of Cody Coffman, one of the victims confirmed dead in the shooting, spoke of his grief.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Jason Coffman was among the hundreds of people who were desperately trying to reach their family members after the shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. "That's the kind of boy that he is", Jason told the press on Thursday morning.

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Police identified the gunman as Ian Long, a 28-year-old former Marine who is one of the 12 dead.

"Our hearts are broken", the statement from her and her husband, journalist Adam Housley reads.

"He could have, but he stayed on because he loved the fight, he loved helping people, he loved protecting people", Novak said.

Another witness from inside, Teylor Whittler, said: "I was on the dance floor and I heard the gunshots, so I looked back and then all of a sudden everyone screamed: Get Down!" "We thank everyone for your prayers and ask for privacy at this time".

He worked at a Camarillo moving company called Attention to Detail.

Coffman broke down as he told reporters how his last words to his son as he went out Wednesday night were not to drink and drive and that he loved him. The tribute described him as an "encouraging soul, always smiling and so happy all the time". It is believed he took his own life.

"He said Helus was on the phone with his wife when he got the report of the shooting and he told her, "'Hey, I have to go.

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It is not yet clear who the other 11 victims inside the bar are, but the Wednesday night country music event is popular with local university students.

Silikula said she heard the sirens of emergency vehicles two or three minutes later, then received a call from her daughter warning her that there had been a shooting.

One of the most recent photos on Meek's Facebook page shows him at the center of a large group wearing denim overalls, pointy boots and a cut-off sleeved plaid shirt. "Fortunately it helped save a lot of lives that they fled the scene so rapidly", he said.

"It's going to be a very somber day", Steinwender said.

Jasmin Alexander, who was with around 15 friends at the bar, said there was chaos and confusion inside when shots rang out.

He attained the rank of corporal and saw combat while deployed in Afghanistan from November 2010 to June 2011.

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