Remembering the Victims of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting


VC Star

Cam High honored Cody Coffman, a 2015 graduate of Cam High, and victims of the Thousand Oaks mass shooting during the CIF Football game on Friday night.

A mass shooting took place at Thousand Oak’s Borderline Grill & Bar on Nov. 7 when a U.S. Marine Corps veteran opened fire on employees and customers, killing 12 people before taking his own life.

First-responder Sergeant Ron Helus was shot multiple times and passed away the following day at Los Robles Hospital. Helus had been a part of the police force for 29 years and was a decorated officer. He was formerly a member of the SWAT team. Helus served in the Thousand Oaks district from around six to eight years and had made plans to retire within the next couple of years.

Cam High’s Resource Officer and Helus’s former partner and friend, Mike Legge said, “He was a great cop, he was part of the SWAT, great with the crew and the men on the ground. He was dedicated to the job, and always looking out for the people and Ventura County.”

Cody Coffman was another victim of the shooting and a graduate of Cam High in 2015. Many of Cam High’s teachers remembered Coffman. The head football coach, Mr. Jack Willard said, “I think that Cody was very well-liked by his teachers, and a very neat kid on campus, and a good representative of Camarillo High school. He was fun to coach, and a player that you know will work hard every day.”

Mr. Dennis Reidmiller, English and social studies teacher, was Coffman’s former coach and he knew the Coffman family well. “I did get to coach him and he was a great kid. He was a guy that was always smiling, and he was the kind of kid that if people were down he can just say something and made them laugh. He had an infectious smile,” said Reidmiller.

Topper’s Pizza in Camarillo held a fundraiser for Coffman’s family on Nov. 12 to cover the cost of his funeral. Some of the funds were also dedicated to a Pony League Baseball scholarship which helps passionate youth who play baseball or softball with their education.

Junior Camille Michalak’s sister, Abby Michalak, was a witness of the shooting. “She was being trampled over, and being stepped on because people are trying to get over the bar and leave, and then our family friend Derek Buck grabbed her by the arm then pulled her out of the bar and they rushed out through the kitchen exit,” said C. Michalak. “She’s still really freaked out, and scared to be alone.” Buck graduated from Cam High last year.

The morning of the shooting, Helus’s body was moved from Los Robles Hospital to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office. People gathered on bridges and the sides of the 101 freeway to pay their respects as the procession passed by.

On Nov. 16, 2018, during the home CIF football game against Corona del Mar, Cam High held a tribute for Cody Coffman, and all the victims of the shooting.