Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Law enforcement officials have yet to release the names of all 12 victims killed in a shooting Thursday at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., but families and friends have identified their loved ones.
The only shooting victim police had positively identified Friday was Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the office and California Highway Patrol.
Helus was among the first law enforcement officers to respond to the shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill when 911 calls first came in. He entered the bar and sustained multiple gunshot injuries. He died later at the hospital.
"Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff's sergeant. He was totally committed, he gave his all and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero. He went in to save lives, to save other people," Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters during a news conference.
Alaina Housley's aunt and uncle, actor Tamera Mowry-Housley and journalist Adam Housley, confirmed her death in the shooting in a statement Thursday afternoon.
"Alaina. My sweet, sweet Alaina. My heart breaks. I'm still in disbelief. It's not fair how you were taken and how soon you were taken from us," Mowry-Housley wrote on Instagram. "I was blessed to know you ever since you were 5. You stole my heart. I will miss our inside jokes, us serenading at the piano.
"Thank you for being patient with me learning how to braid your hair, and I will never forget our duet singing the national anthem at Napa's soccer game. I love you. I love you. I love you. You are gonna make one gorgeous angel. My heart and prayers are with every victim of this tragedy."
Alaina Housley attended Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.
The United Methodist Church Westlake Village identified Noel Sparks as one of the victims.
"We grieve with Tony Sparks and Wendy Anderson," the church said in a statement.
The church planned a prayer vigil for 7 p.m. Saturday "to remember all the victims and pray for the families that are affected by the shooting."
Team Red, White & Blue, a veterans organization, confirmed the death of Marine Corps veteran Daniel Manrique, who worked for the organization. He was a radio operator with the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division and was deployed to the Middle East in 2007.
"Dan's life was dedicated to serving others, during his military career and beyond," John Pinter, executive director of Team RWB, said in a statement. "We offer our deepest condolences to the Manrique family and ask that our Eagles around the world join us in keeping all those impacted by this tragedy in your thoughts and prayers."
California Lutheran University said recent graduate Justin Meek, 23, was among the dead. He worked at the bar as a promoter and sang at Disneyland.
"Although it hardly seems possible, we know that our sorrow will deepen as all of the facts emerge. The campus community mourns for all of the victims and for all of the families that have lost loved ones," the school said.
Fernan Diamse, a friend also at the bar at the time of the shooting, said Meek helped lead others to safety before he was shot.
"He put himself in front of people. That's the kind of person he was. He knew how to take care of people, coming from a military family," Diamse told the San Bernardino Sun.
The father of 22-year-old Cody Coffman, Jason Coffman, was among a number of parents searching for their children early Thursday before police were able to start identifying the victims. Jason Coffman spoke to television reporters after learning of his death.
"I talked to him last night before he headed out the door," he said. "First thing I said is, 'please don't drink and drive.' Last thing I said is, 'I love you.'"
Cody Coffman was preparing to join the Army and had two younger brothers and a baby sister on the way.
Sean Adler was a bouncer at the bar and had recently opened a coffee shop called Rivalry Roasters, where a memorial was held Thursday evening.
Royal High School confirmed his death in a Facebook post; Adler worked as a strength coach for the school's wrestling program.
"He was positive, motivational and truly wanted the best for the people around him," the team's Facebook page said.
Twenty-seven-year-old Telemachus "Tel" Orfanos survived the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people, but died Wednesday at Borderline, where he sometimes worked as a bouncer.
He spent two years in the Navy and became an Eagle Scout while attending Thousand Oaks High School.
His mother, Susan Schmidt-Orfanos, gave an impassioned plea for gun control after learning of her son's death.
"My son was in Las Vegas with a lot of his friends and he came home," she told KABC-TV in Los Angeles. "He didn't come home last night.
"And I don't want prayers, I don't want thoughts, I want gun control," Schmidt-Orfanos said, her voice breaking. "And I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers. I want gun control. No more guns!"
Blake Dingman, 21, was identified as one of the victims by his brother, Aidan Dingman, and great-aunt, Janet Dingman.
"We were really proud of him," Janet Dingman told The Press-Enterprise. "He was a really, fun, energetic and loving nephew."
During high school, Dingman played baseball for Hillcrest Christian School.
Jake Dunham, 21, went to Borderline Wednesday night with good friend Blake Dingham, who also died in the shooting. He enjoyed off-roading and bonfires with his friends.
"He always tried to convince people to [let him] drive their car. Everyone knew it was a bad idea, but sometimes they'd do it," his friend, Michael Moses, told the Los Angeles Times.
Kristina Morisette, 20, worked at Borderline and had just returned home from a trip to Austin, Texas. She was the youngest of three children of Michael and Martha Morisette.
"We didn't want her life to end," Martha Morisette told the Los Angeles Times. "But we don't want her memories now to end, either."
Mark Meza Jr.
Twenty-year-old Mark Meza Jr. worked as a busboy and food runner at Borderline, his family told KEYT-TV.
"Marky was a loving and wonderful young man who was full of life and ambition," they said in a statement. He would've turned 21 on Nov. 19.
He was from Santa Barbara and graduated from the Carpinteria Unified School District.
"Mark was loved by many in our community and will be dearly missed. Please hold his family and friends in your hearts and thoughts at this difficult time," a statement from the district said.