Father's Final Words to 22-Year-Old Killed in Mass Shooting Were 'Son, I Love You'


Many across the country are mourning the loss of 12 lives that were taken in a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, late Wednesday evening.

Wednesday night was “Country College Night” at the Borderline Bar & Grill. The bar was packed with about 150 to 200 people, including students from California Lutheran University, Pepperdine University, and California State University Channel Islands.

Witnesses claimed that smoke bombs were released in the bar before the shooter opened fire inside, although police have not yet been able to confirm that.

The shooter first shot an unarmed security guard and then more of the bar’s security team and staff members before opening fire on the rest of the bar.

Several people suffered injuries of varying severity while many more walked away with minor wounds.

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Tragically, 12 people were fatally injured — one of whom was 22-year-old Cody Coffman.

Jason Coffman, Cody’s father, spoke to the media soon after receiving the heartbreaking news that his son was one of the victims of the shooting. His grief was so intense that words were difficult to speak and he heavily leaned on those around him.

Answering questions, he said “You already know that I have been here fighting for him all morning long and we just did get the news that he was one of the 11 that was killed last night…”

Jason then explained that Cody’s two younger brothers and soon-to-be baby sister would miss him greatly. Jason claimed that the news would “absolutely crush” Cody’s two younger brothers.

“Cody was the big brother my kids need. I have a daughter coming on the 29th of the month. He was so excited to have his first sister and now she’ll never know…” he continued.

Even describing how much he would miss his son proved to be too emotional for him as he broke down into heart-wrenching sobs.

Then he shared the last four words he said to his son. Their last conversation happened as Cody walked out the door for the last time.

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Jason first reminded Cody to not drink and drive.

“The last thing I said was ‘Son, I love you.’ That was the last thing I said.”


He then expressed how difficult the next season of life would be as he and his family mourned the loss of someone taken too soon.

While the shooter’s motives are still unclear, the suspect’s name and story are not as important as the stories of those who have been affected whether in great loss or in great acts of heroism.

If you would like to learn more about the tragic events that took place in California please follow this link.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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