Sheriff: Police bullet killed LEO in Thousand Oaks shooting

Sheriff: Police bullet killed LEO in Thousand Oaks shooting

By PoliceOne Staff

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. — Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed last month in the shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill, was shot six times after responding to the reports of an active shooter. But it was the sixth bullet, fired by a fellow officer's gun, that proved fatal to Helus.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the coroner's report, released Friday, concluded that Helus might have survived injuries from the inital five bullets, shot by the suspect. But, the sixth round, fired from a California Highway Patrol officer's rifle, hit Helus in the heart, and killed him.

“This news is extremely difficult for all of us to process and understand,” Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) released a statement regarding Sgt. Helus.

#BREAKING: CHP issues statement after Ventura County Sheriff says CHP officer's bullet killed deputy during last month's mass shooting

— California Brief (@CaliforniaBrief) December 7, 2018

The gunman, 28-year-old Ian David Long, opened fire on the packed country bar filled with college students and recent graduates from nearby California Lutheran University on Nov. 7.

Helus and the CHP officer were the first to respond and run into the bar. Long immediately ambushed them.

Twelve people were killed in the shooting. Long died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.

Among those killed were a Pepperdine student, U.S. Navy vet, the bar's bouncer and one of the food runners and busboys working that night.