Victim of Calif. bar attack survived Vegas massacre
The Navy veteran, 27, had survived the Route 91 Harvest Festival Massacre last October
By Peter Larsen
The Orange County Register
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Telemachus Orfanos, who survived the Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre in Las Vegas a year ago, was again with friends and fans of country music when he was shot and killed in the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday.
In Greek mythology Telemachus was the son of Odysseus and Penelope, but Orfanos carried a lighter name – Tel – in his hometown of Thousand Oaks. where he graduated from Thousand Oaks High School and had attended Moorpark College.
His mother, Susan Schmidt-Orfanos, gave a heartbreaking interview to KABC-TV on Thursday afternoon, her anguish at another mass shooting, this one taking her oldest child, almost too painful to watch.
“My son was in Las Vegas with a lot of his friends and he came home,” she said. “He didn’t come home last night.
“And I don’t want prayers, I don’t want thoughts, I want gun control,” Schmidt-Orfanos said, her voice breaking with the rawness of her emotions. “And I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers. I want gun control. No more guns!”
Orfanos, 27, reportedly worked at Borderline as well as at Infiniti of Thousand Oaks where he was a concierge and product specialist in the customer relations department.
His Facebook profile listed him as a veteran of the Navy. According to a 2009 article in his hometown newspaper, the Thousand Oaks Acorn, he was also an Eagle Scout. Under a photo of the then-18-year-old Orfanos, the newspaper reported that his Eagle Scout project involved public safety at Thousand Oaks High School, and that he’d earned it as a member of Troop No. 765 of Redeemer Lutheran Church.
As word of his death spread friends on social media paid tribute to the friendly, gentle, bearded young man they knew.
“Can’t believe you’re gone, Tel,” wrote Zoe Romney on a photo of her with Orfanos. “I’m gonna miss you always picking on me and trying to make me laugh when I’m feeling down.”