A father who was desperately searching for his son in the hours after a deadly mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif., received the devastating news on Thursday that the 22-year-old was among the victims of the massacre.
Jason Coffman sobbed as he told reporters that authorities said his son, Cody, was one of 12 people killed at Borderline Bar & Grill during its weekly “College Country Night.”
“This is going to be an absolutely heart-wrenching time for me and my family,” Coffman said. “This is a heart that I’ll never get back.”
Police say that gunman Ian David Long, a 28-year-old Marine veteran, used a handgun with an illegal extended magazine to carry out the killings before turning the gun on himself.
Coffman said he talked to Cody shortly before his son left for the bar.
“The first thing I said was, ‘Please don’t drink and drive,’” Coffman recalled. “The last thing I said was, ‘Son, I love you.’ That was the last thing I said.”
"I can not believe it's happened to my family," says Jason Coffman, father of California shooting victim Cody Coffman. "I'm speechless and heartbroken…. My life has changed now forever" https://t.co/HVITJqO5xN pic.twitter.com/MPIZONA7O3
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) November 8, 2018
Cody was the head umpire for a local baseball league and had plans to join the Army, Coffman told reporters.
“He was on his way to fulfilling his dream of serving the country,” Coffman said. “He was talking to recruiters and doing his thing to become part of the military.”
Cody is survived by two brothers, ages 6 and 8, and the family has a girl on the way.
“This is going to absolutely crush those two boys,” Coffman said.
In an interview with CNN early Thursday, Coffman said he hadn’t heard from Cody since the shooting.
Father who hasn't heard from his son says a tracking app shows his phone is inside the Borderline Bar & Grill. He's hoping it was dropped in the chaos. pic.twitter.com/nGR3RltzHU
— Dylan Stableford (@stableford) November 8, 2018
“I am in the dark right now, and it’s actually tearing me up,” he said.
Coffman said he had a tracking app on his phone that indicated Cody’s phone was at the bar. He was hoping his son dropped it in the chaos.
“It’s not moving now — that’s the problem,” Coffman said.
After receiving the news his son was among the dead, Coffman thanked the media for trying to help locate him.
“This is not going to be easy for a very long time,” he said.
Read more of Yahoo News’ shooting coverage:
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