Father identifies son as victim in Calif. shooting: 'Cody was the big brother that my kids need'

Alex Lasker

The heartbroken father of 22-year-old Cody Coffman choked back tears as he announced that his first-born child was among the 12 victims gunned down at a California bar on Wednesday night.

"Cody was the big brother that my kids need," Jason Coffman said during a Thursday press conference. "I have a daughter coming on the 29th of this month, and [Cody] was so excited to have his first sister," he said. "And now she'll never know him."

Coffman said he was awoken around 1 a.m. on Thursday morning to pounding on his front door, which he initially believed may have been the police, the LA Times reports.

Instead, it was a group of his son's friends, alerting him that there had been a shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, where they had been spending the night. His friends had escaped the attack but lost Cody amid the chaos.

In a CNN interview early Thursday morning, Jason Coffman told reporters that he had not heard from his son since the shooting and that his family was "in the dark" on his welfare.

He added that he was able to track his son's location via an app on his phone, but that the icon hadn't moved from the bar, which troubled him. 

On Thursday afternoon, after a night of painful waiting, the Coffman family received the tragic news that their son had not made it out alive.

"Oh Cody, I love you, son," the bereaved father said, adding that this will be a heartwrenching time for him and his family. "For me, this is a heart that I'll never get back."

Cody Coffman was one of 12 who died during Wednesday night's mass shooting, including one law enforcement official. 

Victims of the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting in Thousand Oaks, California:

Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, was shot multiple times while entering the bar and tragically died later on from his injuries.

The gunman, identified as former U.S. Marine Ian David Long, 28, was also found dead at the bar from a gunshot wound, although it remains unclear if the wound was self-inflicted or if the shooter was gunned down by police.

Several people remain missing in wake of the attack, including 18-year-old Pepperdine University freshman Alaina Housley.

Alaina's uncle, former Fox News national correspondent Adam Housley, said his family was able to track her Apple Watch and iPhone, both of which showed her location as on the dance floor of Borderline Bar & Grill, unmoving, which led them to fear the worst. 

"My gut is saying she’s inside the bar, dead," Housley said. "I'm hoping I'm wrong."

"You just don’t think that — same stupid quote — you just don’t think it’s going to happen to you," he added.