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'I don't want thoughts, I want gun control': Mother of California massacre victim calls for change

The mother of one of the victims of the latest shooting massacre in the US has said "I don't want prayers, I don't want thoughts, I want gun control".

Susan Orfanos told reporters her son Telemachus had survived the massacre in Las Vegas in October 2017, in which 59 people died.

But when he was caught up in a shooting in California on Wednesday night, he did not survive.

He was one of a dozen people killed in the shooting at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks in southern California.

Authorities believe the gunman, Ian David Long, ultimately killed himself.

The victims of the Thousand Oaks shooting

Alaina Housley, Justin Meek (top), Telemachus Orfanos (bottom left) and Ron Helus (bottom right) were killed in the attack

A number of the twelve victims of the massacre at the Borderline bar have been named.

One was a veteran police officer, another was an art student who worked with children at her church.

Others were a Navy veteran, an a cappella singer who worked as a caregiver, and a security guard with a “big personality” who was known for making sure everyone got home safely.

  • Ron Helus

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Ventura County sheriff’s Sargeant Ron Helus rushed toward the shooting after reports came in, and immediately exchanged fire with the shooter inside the bar, his department said. He was hit multiple times and died in hospital.

Sgt Eric Buschow, who said Sgt Helus was a friend, described him as a “cop’s cop”.

“The fact that he was the first in the door doesn’t surprise me at all,” he said. “He’s just one of those guys that wouldn’t hesitate in a situation.”

“He was just a great guy, a gentle soul,” he added.

Sgt Helus was on the Swat team for much of his career and worked in narcotics and investigations, he said.

  • Cody Coffman
Cody Coffman was considering joining the Army, his father said. Credit: Cody Coffman/Facebook

Cody Coffman, who was 22, was considering joining the Army, his father Jason Coffman told reporters.

“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 …”

Jason Coffman said he last spoke to his son on Wednesday night before Cody headed to the bar where the gunman opened fire.

“The first thing I said was, ‘Please don’t drink and drive,'” he said. “The last thing I said was, ‘Son, I love you.'”

  • Justin Meek
Justin Meek Credit: Justin Meek/Facebook

Newly graduated from California Lutheran University, Justin Meek cared for children with special needs, performed as a singer and worked at the Borderline bar.

It was there he “heroically saved lives” before being killed, Cal Lutheran President Chris Kimball said in a statement.

The campus chapel overflowed on Thursday with people attending a service of mourning.

Mr Meek, 23, majored in criminal justice and graduated in May, school spokeswoman Karin Grennan said.

  • Alaina Housley
Alaina Housley Credit: Alaina Housley/Facebook

Alaina Housley was just 18, a promising student at Pepperdine University with plans to study law, her family said.

Adam Housley, a former Fox News correspondent, and Tamera Mowry-Housley, an actress known for the 1990s TV series Sister Sister, said their niece was killed at the bar where she had gone line dancing with friends.

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“Alaina was an incredible 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.

She played football and tennis all through high school, studied piano and violin, and sang, her father said.

  • Noel Sparks
Pictures of Noel Sparks are seen during a candlelight vigil in Thousand Oaks Credit: Ringo HW Chiu/AP

Noel Sparks, a 21-year-old college student, loved going to the Borderline Bar & Grill, so friends and family were not surprised when she posted a photo of herself dancing there Wednesday night.

Her aunt Patricia Sparks of Morristown, Tennessee, said police informed Ms Sparks’s father on Thursday that she had died in the shooting.

“We’re in shock,” Patricia Sparks told The Associated Press.

She described her niece as an “all-around good girl. She was the kind of girl that if you had friends, you’d want them to marry her”.

Ms Sparks was a regular at Borderline, where she spent Halloween and celebrated her 21st birthday in August. She often went there with friends and her mother.

  • Sean Adler
Photo of Sean Adler during a vigil in California Credit: Jae C Hong/AP

Sean Adler, 48, was a security guard at Borderline who would stay late to ensure people could get home safely, said Debbie Allen, a longtime friend.

The married father of two boys died doing what he was passionate about — protecting people, Ms 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. “I don’t think in all the years I’ve known him, and it’s almost 30, I ever heard him say ‘no’ to someone”.

His other passion, she said, was coffee. Mr Adler recently opened his own coffee shop, Rivalry Roasters, in Simi Valley, said Phil Englander, another longtime friend.

  • Telemachus Orfanos
Telemachus Orfanos was a US Navy veteran. Credit: Telemachus Orfanos/Facebook

Telemachus Orfanos, 27, was a US Navy veteran. His friends called him “Tel”.

His mother said she wants Congress to “pass gun control so no-one else has a child that doesn’t come home”.

  • Daniel Manrique
Credit: Facebook/Daniel Manrique

Daniel Manrique was another military veteran. He served in Afghanistan and worked for an organisation that helps fellow veterans.

  • Blake Dingman

Blake Dingman, who was 21, lived in the Newbury Park area of Thousand Oaks according to NBC News.

  • Kristina Morisette and Jake Dunham