Telemachus Orfanos was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas last year when a gunman opened fire from a hotel above, killing 58 people.
Orfanos survived, but by a cruel twist of fate he happened to be inside a Thousand Oaks bar on Wednesday when another gunman entered. This time, the 27-year-old did not survive.
The Associated Press identified Orfanos as one of the 12 people killed when a gunman burst into the Borderline Bar & Grill in the quiet community outside of Los Angeles and fired indiscriminately into crowds of people.
Orfanos’ death was one of a number of heartbreaking stories to emerge from the deadliest shooting since a gunman opened fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue last month. Sgt. Ron Helus of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department was the first officer to arrive on the scene and was killed by the gunman. As the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported, Helus was a 20-year veteran of the police force who was planning to retire next year.
Other survivors told stories of off-duty police officers shielding patrons and others throwing a bar stool through a window and helping others escape.
Telemachus Orfanos was not the only patron inside the Borderline Bar & Grill who had also survived the Las Vegas massacre last October. As The Associated Press noted, a woman named Molly Mauer posted on social media after Wednesday’s shooting saying that she once again had survived a mass shooting.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this again. I’m alive and home safe,” she wrote on Facebook.
Another man, Chandler Gunn, said he had a friend working at the bar who was also a Las Vegas shooting survivor. The friend was able to escape the bar during the shooting, Gunn said.
“There’s people that live a whole lifetime without seeing this, and then there’s people that have seen it twice,” he said.
The odds of some Las Vegas shooting survivors being inside the bar for this week’s mass shooting would not be that long. Las Vegas is a four-and-a-half hour drive from Thousand Oaks, and more than 20,000 people attended the Route 91 Festival last year. The bar where this week’s shooting took place was holding a country music night, and the shooting in Las Vegas was a country music festival.
On Thursday, an online community of Las Vegas shooting survivors mourned Orfanos’ death.
“Telemachus Orfanos has joined our 58 angels,” read a post on a Facebook page called The Route 91 Family.
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