Jason Coffman sobbed today as he recalled authorities telling him that his oldest son, Cody Coffman, had been killed in the California bar shooting.
The father said he talked to his 22-year-old son yesterday just before he went to Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, a country music dancehall where a former Marine opened fire last night using a smoke bomb and a handgun.
Cody Coffman was one of 11 bar patrons or employees killed in the rampage. Ian David Long, 28, also killed a police officer who was first to respond to the scene before apparently turning the gun on himself.
The elder Coffman said today he told his son not to drink and drive and that the last thing he said to him was: "I love you."
Mr Coffman said his son left behind a legacy of love and laughter and that he was the big brother that his two younger sons and soon-to-be-born daughter needed. He was "on his way to fulfilling his dream" of serving his country in the US military, the grieving father added.
"My first born son. Cody. Only he and I know how much I love, how much I miss," he told reporters during a press conference, "Oh son, I love you so much. Oh heavenly father, please be with him...Oh Cody, I love you son."