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Sergeant killed after responding to mass shooting at bar

November 8, 2018

Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus died after trying to help victims escape a gunman inside a California bar late Wednesday night.

Sgt. Helus and a passing highway patrolman were responding to several 911 calls when they arrived at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks at about 11:20 p.m., the sheriff said. They heard gunfire and went inside.

Helus was immediately hit with multiple gunshots, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said. The highway patrolman cleared the perimeter and pulled Helus out, and then waited as a SWAT team and scores more officers arrived. Helus died early Thursday at a hospital.

Helus was a 29-year veteran of the force with a wife and son and planned to retire in the coming year, said the sheriff, who choked back tears several times as he talked about the sergeant who was also his longtime friend.

“Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff’s sergeant who was totally committed,” Dean said, “and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero because he went in to save lives.”

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