Sean Adler’s sister said that before he was shot dead inside of the Borderline Bar & Grill, he attempted to take down the shooter. Speaking to NBC Los Angeles’ Mekahlo Medina, Valerie Adler said, “Sean tried to disarm [the gunman]. That is typical of Sean. He was a protector, always sticking up for people.” Valerie added that her brother is survived by his wife and two sons. The man who shot and killed 12 people inside of the Thousand Oaks, California, bar has been named as Ian David Long, 29. Long was a former U.S. Marine. He too was found dead at the scene. Authorities believe that Long committed suicide.
Here’s what you need to know about one of the heroes from the Borderline Bar & Grill:
Adler Was Working Security at the Bar to Help Support His Family While He Was Setting Up a New Business
Buzzfeed reports that Adler had recently opened a coffee roasting video. His sister told Buzzfeed her brother was a “positive, motivational, and truly wanted to best for the people around him.” Adler’s new business venture was covered by the Simi Valley Acorn in October 2018. Adler told the local news outlet that in 2017, at the age of 47, he was training to become a sheriff’s deputy when he suffered a heart attack. Adler said, “It was like all the wind was knocked out of me and I just collapsed; it really sucked.” At that point, becoming a sheriff’s deputy was no longer an option. Adler’s father convinced his son to go into business for himself. Adler then spoke about the struggles involved in a new business, saying, “When you’re passionate about what you do, it doesn’t feel like work; that’s what Rivalry Roasters is for me. It’s not always easy to make ends meet, and I even work security at bars at night to help cover expenses, but I love what I’m doing.”
Adler opened Rivalry Roasters in 2018. A blurb about the business reads in part, “Rivalry Roasters has taken up arms against mediocre drinks, offering a menu of craft coffee, tea, and chai that’s truly second to none. All our products are fair trade and organically grown, meaning they’re not only delicious — they’re sustainably and ethically made, as well.” His sister told NBC Los Angeles’ Jonathan Gonzalez that her brother had been working at Borderline Bar & Grill for extra money. A friend said on Twitter that Adler had been working at the front desk of the bar.
Adler’s Former Wrestling Coach Said, ‘You Couldn’t Have Met a Nicer Guy’
A Twitter post from the Simi High School Wrestling team said that in Adler, “You couldn’t have met a nicer guy.” The team’s coach had previously coached Adler for a different team.
According to his Facebook page, Adler was from and lived in Simi Valley, California.
Adler Previously Helped Train Children Against Bullies
On his LinkedIn page, Adler had worked in the coffee industry in sales since July 2014. Between 2012 and 2016, Adler operated Empower Personal Fitness & Self Defense in Simi Valley. Among his classes was a class on anti-bullying for kids. Adler studied personal training and fitness at the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Adler was a practioner of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. On his Pinterest page, Adler went by the moniker ExtremeBJJ77.