Cody Gifford-Coffman: Loved ones remember Borderline shooting victim as they lay him to rest
CAMARILLO, Calif. (FOX 11) - Funerals are being planned for victims of last week's mass shooting in a bar in Thousand Oaks.
A service is scheduled at 7 p.m. Wednesday for 22-year-old Cody Gifford-Coffman at Perez Family Chapel in Camarillo.
The gunman opened fire Nov. 7 during college night at Borderline Bar & Grill, killing 12 people and sending hundreds fleeing in terror before taking his own life, authorities said.
Gifford-Coffman's father, Jason Coffman, broke down as he confirmed to reporters that his son, who was about to join the Army, had died in the shooting.
Coffman said his last words to his son as he went out that night were not to drink and drive and that he loved him.
A memorial service is also planned Thursday for Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, who was among the first officers to respond to the scene and was shot as he entered the bar.
Helus will be mourned at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village and interred nearby at Pierce Brothers Valley Mortuary and Cemetery.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean called Helus, a 29-year veteran of the force, a "hardworking, dedicated sheriff's sergeant who was totally committed."
"He died a hero because he went in to save lives," Dean said during a news conference while choking back a few tears.
From Zohreen Adamjee:
One week after a gunman killed 12 people at Borderline Bar and Grill, Cody Coffman's girlfriend, Shoshauni Washburn, visited a memorial nearby....still in disbelief.
"To say he's gone I just don't believe it," said Washburn"
For the first time, Washburn looked at the memorial crosses with all the victim's names, including Cody's.
"To lose someone who is so close to my heart....I mean I love that boy with everything I have," said Washburn.
Friends say Coffman died a hero, trying to save people at the bar.
"He was a protector. I wish I could walk down and see his car one more time. Just to see him and hold him and I just can't," said Washburn.
Throughout Wednesday, Coffman's loved ones arrived at the Perez Family Home for his viewing and funeral, including his aunt Kathy Peterson.
"It's ..horrific and you never ever think this is going to happen to my family," said Peterson.
Coffman's cousin, Marissa Butler, flew in from Washington to attend.
"I don't know how you move forward healing from something like this," said Butler.
A community trying to move forward healing...many, now with shattered dreams.
"We talked about getting married and everything like that ...
He was the love of my life and he's gone," said Washburn.
From Victoria Spilabotte:
Kind, lovable and gentle were words used to describe 22 year-old Cody Coffman at his funeral Wednesday night.
Hundreds of people packed a Camarillo funeral home to share stories about the young man killed in the shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill.
"My heart is ripped out of my chest for my son,” Coffman’s father, Jason Coffman, said.
Coffman’s memory is living on as a hero who is credited with saving his friends and helping them get out of the bar when a gunman open fired.
“He is my absolute hero because I don’t think any of us would still be here if it wasn’t for him,” one survivor said.
It was Coffman’s character that touched many lives.
He was a mentor to the kids he umpired for at Camarillo Baseball.
“They loved Cody,” Clark Murphy with Camarillo Baseball said. “He is such a big guy and little kids look up to that.”
Coffman was also a gifted baseball player and athlete himself.
He also loved having a good time, line dancing at Borderline twice a week.
"I’m so mad and I’m having a real hard time getting through the anxiety of what somebody else did to my grandson,” Coffman’s grandfather said.
"To the mother of the shooter, it’s not your fault,” Jason Coffman said.
He closed with telling the other victim’s families that he is grieving with them.
"Stay strong, keep your heads high and let his legacy fly,” Coffman said of his son.
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