SEVERE WX : Red Flag Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Sheriff's sergeant was fatally shot by friendly fire in the Thousand Oaks bar shooting

The sheriff's sergeant who initially responded to last month's mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill...

Posted: Dec 8, 2018 4:54 AM
Updated: Dec 8, 2018 4:54 AM

The sheriff's sergeant who initially responded to last month's mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, was fatally shot by gunfire from a California Highway Patrol officer, officials said Friday.

Sgt. Ron Helus was struck five times by gunfire from the suspect, Ian David Long, according to Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub, but was hit by a sixth bullet from a CHP officer's rifle.

2018 California Thousand Oaks bar shooting

California

Continents and regions

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Homicide

Mass murder

Misc people

Murder

North America

Ron Helus

Shootings

Southwestern United States

The Americas

United States

Unrest, conflicts and war

Law enforcement

Policing and police forces

Political organizations

Political Parties - Intl

Republican People's Party (Turkey)

Heroes and heroism

Society

Helus could have potentially survived the five wounds from Long's weapon, but the sixth bullet, fired by the CHP officer who entered the bar with Helus, proved fatal. It struck Helus in the chest and his heart, according to Dr. Christopher Young, the Ventura County medical examiner.

"This is sad news and a tragedy," Young said, "but ultimately this was the most severe injury sustained."

Young told reporters officials were aware of Helus' injury but that they waited to release the information before getting confirmation from FBI ballistics analysis.

Helus, a 29-year law enforcement veteran, was set to retire from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office next year. He was among the first officers through the door at the Borderline when the shooting began November 7 and was shot as he tried to stop the gunman, who killed 11 others in the attack. Helus later died at a hospital.

Ayub said the accident was, in his view, "unavoidable."

"They were ambushed almost immediately after entering," Ayub said. "They retreated and tried to stop the suspect with their own gunfire. And unfortunately, it was dynamic, there was a lot of movement, there was smoke, it was dark."

Helus and the CHP officer entered the bar at the same time, he said, but at some point, Helus ended up between the officer and the gunman.

But officials from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office and the CHP agreed the gunman was the only person responsible for the violence that unfolded that night.

"The burden lies solely with him," Ayub said, "not those who tried to save lives, those who tried to escape and certainly not with those who died while simply trying to enjoy an evening with friends.

"It is also important to note that the news I have shared with you today in no way diminishes the heroic actions both men exhibited at the Borderline on the night of November 7."

There's no new information regarding a motive in the mass shooting, the sheriff said.

CHP officer is 'devastated'

CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said in a statement the agency was "profoundly saddened" by the news.

"The mere thought of something like this happening is devastating to all of us and underscores the difficult and dangerous circumstances law enforcement faces, often with only mere seconds to react."

Stanley extended condolences to Helus' family, friends and the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.

"There are no words that can be expressed as to the incredible sorrow his family is dealing with," he said.

LD Maples, CHP's coastal division chief, said he delivered the news to the officer in question Thursday.

"He had no clue it was coming, was as surprised as all of us," Maples said. "He's devastated. He's a consummate professional, well-trained, military background."

The circumstances of the shooting are the focus of an ongoing investigation, officials said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32820

Reported Deaths: 543
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7184138
Marion468394
Washington451960
Umatilla297641
Clackamas240861
Malheur162723
Lane121017
Jackson11485
Deschutes84012
Yamhill75713
Jefferson5348
Polk53015
Linn52213
Morrow4996
Lincoln48213
Union4462
Benton3106
Wasco2923
Klamath2802
Hood River2510
Douglas2324
Clatsop2120
Josephine1982
Columbia1711
Coos1570
Baker942
Crook621
Tillamook530
Lake330
Curry310
Wallowa311
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 809890

Reported Deaths: 15606
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2678016514
Riverside581781189
San Bernardino54478925
Orange533151216
San Diego46610776
Kern31947369
Fresno28336382
Sacramento22269406
Alameda21189406
Santa Clara21153312
San Joaquin20194441
Contra Costa16572205
Stanislaus16452354
Tulare15970263
Ventura12729150
Imperial11835317
San Francisco11143101
Monterey988471
San Mateo9843150
Santa Barbara9061113
Merced8872142
Kings756980
Sonoma7412122
Marin6716118
Solano630963
Madera448165
Placer357745
San Luis Obispo354629
Butte282744
Yolo280355
Santa Cruz23589
Sutter170511
Napa168113
San Benito134511
Yuba11537
El Dorado11274
Mendocino93118
Shasta85617
Lassen7400
Glenn5783
Tehama5605
Lake54911
Nevada5347
Colusa5296
Humboldt5017
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 84°
Brookings
Clear
93° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 93°
Crater Lake
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 69°
Grants Pass
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 74°
Klamath Falls
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 69°
Critical fire danger today
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Monday, September 28 afternoon weather

Image

Monday, September 28 morning weather

Image

Sunday, September 27 evening weather

Image

Sunday, September 27 morning weather

Image

The initial spread of the Almeda Fire in real-time

Image

Saturday, September 26 evening weather

Image

Saturday, September 26 morning weather

Image

Friday, September 25th Evening Weather

Image

First responders tell the Almeda Fire story

Image

Fire hydrants stopped pumping water during the Almeda Fire