The father of Cody Coffman, 22, sobbed as he told reporters Thursday that his son is among the 12 bar-goers shot dead in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
“They found him,” Jason Coffman told reporters, his voice breaking.
“I’ve been here fighting for him all morning long,” the grieving dad said of going from hospital to hospital in a desperate search for news.
“And we did just get the news that he was one of the [people] killed last night. He was Cody Coffman, my first-born son.”
Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Ron Helus also died in the shooting, as did the gunman, ex-Marine Ian David Long, 28.
Jason Coffman said he had spoken with his son Wednesday night, as the young man went to the Borderline Bar & Grill with friends, the father said.
“Last thing I said was, ‘Son, I love you,’” the sobbing father said of Cody, who has two younger brothers and a sister “on the way.”
“He wanted to be a big brother to the sister that’s coming,” the dad said.
“Ever since my son was 3 years old, I coached him” in sports, he said. “He was my fishing buddy all the time, whether he liked it or not that poor boy came with me, fishing on a boat.
“This is not going to be easy for a very long time,” he added. “My life has changed forever.”
Coffman was one of the parents and loved ones of bar-goers who spent much of Thursday desperately “pinging” their phones — and in some cases, getting the unnerving news that the devices remained on the dance floor.
The worried father said the tracking device on the young man’s phone showed it was still at the club, and “It’s not moving. It’s there.”
Another of those phones belonged to missing Pepperdine University freshman Alaina Housley, 18.
“My gut is saying she’s inside the bar, dead,” her uncle, Adam Housley, told an LA Times reporter outside the Los Robles Regional Medical Center, where he was looking for his niece.
“I’m hoping I’m wrong.”
By late morning, the teen’s Apple Watch and iPhone still showed her location on the dance floor, the uncle said.
Several of Housley’s suitemates at Pepperdine had gone to the bar that night, and only Housley was missing, one roomie’s tweets said.
Housley was last seen wearing denim shorts, “a blue flannel” and sneakers, the suitemate tweeted.
The bar had been hosting a country music night for university students when the gunman opened fire.
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