He Survived the Las Vegas Massacre — Then a Gunman Killed Him in Calif. Mass Shooting: 'No. More. Guns,' Says Mom
Twenty-seven-year-old Telemachus Orfanos, one of the victims slain late Wednesday when a gunman attacked a busy Southern California country bar, had survived the Las Vegas massacre little more than a year ago — and now, his grieving mother is demanding action from Washington.
“I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control,” Susan Orfanos said in an interview with local reporters. “And I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers. No. More. Guns.”
Telemachus — a Navy veteran known as “Tel” to his family and friends — was reportedly part of a cluster of California country music fans still dealing with the trauma of living through the mass shooting at Vegas’ Route 91 music festival last October, which killed 58 victims.
Tel was killed at the Borderline, a bar and restaurant that had reportedly become something of a refuge, a place to gather for solace, for Vegas survivors in the area.
He was one of the venue’s security guards, friends tell PEOPLE.
As she spoke to the media on Thursday, Tel’s mother’s head shook in anger.
“If mowing down 5-year-olds at Sandy Hook didn’t make an impression, nothing will,” said Susan, a semiretired substitute teacher. “The bottom line is the NRA owns most of the Republican Party and probably some of the Democratic Party as well. Until that vise is broken, this is not going to end.”
The New York Times reached Tel’s mom by phone on Thursday and she confirmed his death.
“He made it through Las Vegas, he came home,” she said. “And he didn’t come home last night, and the two words I want you to write are: gun control. Right now — so that no one else goes through this. Can you do that? Can you do that for me? Gun control.”
She then hung up the telephone, the paper reports.
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Another Vegas survivor, 24-year-old Carl Edgar, tells PEOPLE he knows six of those killed Wednesday night. Edgar was a regular at Borderline, where Tel — whom he described as “charismatic” — would always greet him with a hug.
“We almost had a little bromance going because we were so bonded after Route 91,” Edgar tells PEOPLE. “There was a strength between us. I feel like someone came into my home and destroyed my family — someone came into my house and ruined the place where we all came to be safe. Tel was at Route 91 and now, he’s with the stars.”
Speaking to PEOPLE, another friend named Kevin describes Tel as a joker who “would never hurt a fly.”
Kevin continues, “He was a social butterfly — you could walk into any bar on any given random weekend, and you would probably see him hanging out with a couple of buddies.”