THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- (KTLA) -- A Ventura County native who others credit with saving their lives as bullets rained on a crowd of young people at Thousand Oaks' Borderline Bar & Grill last week became the first victim of the tragic shooting to be laid to rest on Wednesday.
Cody Gifford-Coffman, 22, is among 12 people killed last Wednesday, Nov. 7, when a gunman opened fire at a country music dance night popular with college students at the Western-style bar on Rolling Oaks Drive.
The Camarillo funeral home where his memorial was held was packed with friends, family and survivors of the massacre who hugged each other tearfully while paying their final respects. They said he would be remembered for a legacy of kindness and willingness to lay down his life for his friends.
Coffman's father, Jason Coffman, who has been outspoken in the tragedy's aftermath, spoke while standing above his son's open casket.
"I am honestly, truly broken," he told those assembled. "My heart is ripped out from my chest."