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Thousand Oaks shooting victims: Portraits of the fallen

Los Angeles Times staff writers, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

A shooter opened fire in a crowded Thousand Oaks bar late Wednesday night, killing at least 12 people. Here are the stories of the people who lost their lives.

Sean Adler, 48

For years, Sean Adler hopped from job to job, looking for his passion.

The 48-year-old father got a bit closer in recent months when he opened Rivalry Roasters, a coffee shop in Simi Valley, said Debbie Nieser, a childhood friend.

Adler had big dreams for Rivalry Roasters, but kept his job for the time being as a bouncer at Borderline Bar and Grill to support his family, Nieser said. That's where he was killed late Wednesday night, his mother, Gloria Adler, confirmed. He leaves behind his wife and two sons, ages 17 and 12.

Over the years, Adler had coached soccer and taekwondo and worked as a salesman, Nieser said. At one point, she said, he had hopes of becoming a police officer. He was training to become a deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department last year when he had a heart attack and changed course again.

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Gloria Adler and Nieser were together Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas, packing to fly to Simi Valley for a vigil at the coffee shop, planned by Adler's many friends.

Alder's charisma made him a popular guy, Nieser said.

"He was just as a very caring guy that was a lot of fun," she said. "He was someone that went after his dreams, someone who was always trying to find his dreams, someone who connected with many different types of people."

Nieser met Adler when they were children. She was drawn to his good looks and kind soul, she said. He became her first boyfriend, and then, a lifelong friend.


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