It was College Country Night, a weekly event at Borderline, where students from local colleges such as Pepperdine, Moorpark and Cal State Channel Islands were regulars.
Telemachus Orfanos loved to go to the popular Western-style bar and go line dancing. He was among several hundred people inside the venue around 11:15 p.m. when a gunman dressed in all black opened fire, killing 12 people and injuring a dozen others.
Tel, who served in the Navy from 2011-2014, moved back in with his parents after his time in the service. He was working at the INFINITI dealership in Thousand Oaks.
On Oct. 1, 2017, the Navy veteran made it out alive of the Route 91 Harvest music festival where 58 people were killed and hundreds of others were wounded.
Tel didn’t make it home Wednesday night, and his mom made an emotional plea to reporters after learning of her son’s death, calling for gun control.
Tel’s father Mark said the shooter – a former military machine gunner who mental health specialists interviewed earlier this year – “was probably as much of a victim as anybody else.”
“I’m not gonna vilify this kid because he’s got parents that are grieving, too,” Mark Orfanos said. “And I feel sorry for them as well. Until I find out particularly what the specifics are with this kid who did the shooting I’m not gonna be vilifying him.”
Mark Orfanos said he holds the “gun culture” responsible for his son’s death.
“How ironic that my son should be killed this way,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.