Deputy Died from Friendly Fire in California Bar Gun Battle

Sgt. Ron Helus was fatally shot in the heart by a California highway patrolman who had joined him in a firefight with the gunman at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks.

Posted: Dec 7, 2018 11:24 AM

By AMANDA LEE MYERS , Associated Press

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — A sheriff's deputy who died in a mass shooting at a Southern California bar was shot five times by a gunman who massacred 11 others, but the officer was killed by friendly fire, authorities said Friday.

Sgt. Ron Helus was fatally shot in the heart by a California highway patrolman who had joined him in a firefight with the gunman at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks on Nov. 7, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said.

"It was just a tragic detail that unfolded so rapidly, in my view it was unavoidable," Ayub said. "They were ambushed almost immediately."

Ayub said the fatal shot did not diminish the heroism shown by the officers. The CHP officer was not identified, but is a 9-year veteran of the force who is on leave.

Investigators did not offer any more insight into what drove Ian David Long, 28, to storm the country and western bar at an event for college students.

Long took his own life after the gun battle with the two officers.

Long threw smoke grenades into the group of revelers, obstructing what they could see, before he opened fire.

Then he used a flashlight with a laser sight attached to his .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol as he fired.

Panicked revelers smashed windows to flee, dived under tables and piled on top of each other in an effort to dodge the gunfire.

The first two officers to arrive at the scene, Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer, saw at least 100 people fleeing the bar.

Long had gotten into a tactical position and fired on them when they entered, killing Helus. The 29-year veteran of the department was close to retirement.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 3949

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah104558
Marion90925
Washington69517
Clackamas29410
Deschutes1200
Linn1159
Umatilla1123
Polk9610
Lane672
Yamhill657
Jackson600
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Josephine261
Douglas250
Jefferson240
Wasco181
Columbia160
Hood River120
Morrow120
Lincoln90
Tillamook60
Curry60
Union60
Crook50
Wallowa20
Sherman10
Grant10
Harney10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 96400

Reported Deaths: 3769
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles460232116
Riverside7004292
San Diego6701249
Orange5469133
San Bernardino4365176
Alameda287493
Santa Clara2652139
San Francisco238640
Kern187129
San Mateo183376
Tulare164175
Santa Barbara155112
Fresno148222
Contra Costa133637
Sacramento130256
Imperial127423
Ventura91230
San Joaquin75233
Kings6472
Stanislaus64628
Sonoma5004
Solano45520
Monterey4138
Marin40314
Merced2616
San Luis Obispo2591
Santa Cruz2002
Yolo19422
Placer1859
Napa1013
Humboldt932
Madera842
El Dorado780
San Benito722
Nevada411
Sutter402
Del Norte370
Shasta364
Butte340
Mono341
Yuba281
Mendocino210
Inyo191
Mariposa151
Calaveras130
Lake120
Glenn120
Amador100
Siskiyou61
Colusa50
Lassen40
Plumas40
Tuolumne30
Tehama31
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 74°
Brookings
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 55°
Crater Lake
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 67°
Grants Pass
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 72°
Klamath Falls
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 67°
Getting hotter this week
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Memorial Day Ceremony in Grants Pass

Image

A grand opening in the midst of a pandemic

Image

Pistole returns 'home' to Raiders softball

Image

Monday, May 25th Evening Weather

Image

Monday, May 25 afternoon weather

Image

Anywhere Learning: Field Trip - Five Features of a Forest

Image

Anywhere Learning: Read-aloud - A Wrinkle in Time

Image

Anywhere Learning: Vocal Masterclass

Image

Anywhere Learning: Summer Reads

Image

Monday, May 25 morning weather