Sergeant Helus Was Killed By Friendly Fire During Mass Shooting

One of the six rounds that hit Ventura County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Ron Helus was fired by a fellow officer.

Thousand Oaks, CA – Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub has announced that one of the six rounds that hit Sergeant Ron Helus during the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill on Nov. 7 was fired by a fellow officer.

Ian David Long, 28, fired the other five rounds which struck the sergeant and killed 11 other people inside the packed country-music bar before he turned the gun on himself, USA Today reported.

“This was a dynamic, chaotic event that led to a very brief, but furious gun battle between the killer and the lawmen, Sheriff Ayub said during a press conference on Friday.

"Today, I'm deeply saddened to inform you that Sgt. Helus was also struck by a sixth bullet, which we now know, through forensic analysis by the FBI's crime laboratory, was fired from the CHP officer's rifle," he explained. "Tragically, it struck vital organ and was fatal.”

The bullet struck Sgt. Helus in the heart, police said.

The California Highway Patrol officer who fired the round is a nine-year veteran of the department with prior military experience, USA Today reported.

He has been on personal leave since Wednesday, when he was told that the bullet that killed Sgt. Helus came from his weapon.

"The California Highway Patrol…is profoundly saddened to learn of new details emerging from the horrific incident which resulted from the deadly actions of suspect Ian David Long at the Borderline Bar on Nov. 7,” California Highway Patrol Commissioner Warren Stanley said in a statement on Friday, according to USA Today.

“The suspect, who had been lying in wait for the officers to arrive, immediately ambushed the pair with gunfire as they entered the building,” Commissioner Stanley said. “While the officers' actions prevented the suspect from shooting more patrons, tragically, during the brief and chaotic gunfight that ensued, a round by our officer struck Sgt. Helus."

Commissioner Stanley extended his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the fallen hero.

“Without question, Sgt. Helus died a hero while protecting his community from a dangerous criminal,” he continued. “In the face of danger, Sgt. Helus courageously upheld the oath he took to lay down his life rather than swerve from the path of duty."

Investigators have yet to determine a motive for Long’s attack, which occurred at approximately 11:20 p.m. as hundreds of patrons were enjoying a university student night inside the bar, BBC reported.

Armed with a .45-caliber Glock pistol, the hooded gunman first shot the security guard outside, according to NBC News.

He then tossed smoke bombs into the crowd, “turned to the right, shot several other security and employees and began opening fire inside the nightclub,” Ventura County then-Sheriff Geoff Dean said at the time.

Long fired over 50 rounds during the mayhem.

According to witnesses, patrons inside the bar mostly fell silent and fled to various corners of the building, attempting to hide, CNN reported.

“He didn’t say anything, at least not that we could hear, witness Matthew Estron told NBC News. “Everyone was just trying to get out.”

Others tossed stools through windows and hoisted people out, saving dozens of lives, CNN reported.

"It's too bad I won't get to see all the illogical and pathetic reasons people will put in my mouth as to why I did it,” Long wrote in a social media post he made during the attack, according to TMZ. “Fact is I had no reason to do it, and I just thought...f--k it, life is boring so why not?"

“I hope people call me insane…wouldn't that just be a big ball of irony?” the gunman wrote. “Yeah…I'm insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is 'hopes and prayers' .. or 'keep you in my thoughts' ... every time ... and wonder why these keep happening ..."

Sgt. Helus, a 29-year veteran of the force, was among the first law enforcement officers to respond to the scene, Sheriff Dean said told CBS News at the time.

“When he heard gunfire, he went in and that’s something [we] would expect from Ron,” he said, according to KCBS.

"He was willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of others," the sheriff noted, according to NBC News. "He ran into danger — he didn't walk."

He was shot multiple times after he entered the building, and was later pulled to safety by a California Highway Patrol trooper, CBS News reported.

Sgt. Helus, 54, was rushed to a local hospital, where he died at approximately 2 a.m. on Nov. 8.

The gunman murdered 11 other people during the attack, and wounded 10 to 15 more, Sheriff Dean said, according to CNN.

Long was later found dead inside the bar.

“When the officers made entry, the suspect was already deceased,” Sheriff Dean said during the press conference. “There are 11 victims. I will not count the suspect as a victim.”

“This is, by far, the most horrific thing I’ve seen in my 41 years,” he told NBC News.

The sheriff described Sgt. Helus as a “hardworking, dedicated” public servant, CBS News reported.

"It's so tragic losing Ron," Sheriff Dean said, according to CNN. "We go to the gym together, work out together. It's horrific and terrible and it saddens our hearts."

The married father-of-one had given nearly three decades of his life to his department, and planned to retire in about a year.

"He went in to save lives, to save other people," Sheriff Dean said at the time. "He was totally committed, he gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero.”

Comments (20)
No. 1-13
LEO0301
LEO0301

I read about this earlier today. Terrible for the officer who fired the fatal shot and a difficult or impossible thing to get over. Prayers for all involved.

AnnykaV
AnnykaV

Oh, fuck. Please, CHP, take care of this officer with every resource possible.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Center of mass with a rifle. Sounds like the unnamed officer (who should be named) was trying to kill Sgt. Helus. Hopefully, there will be criminal charges. Purposely killing an on duty law enforcement officer, if that is what happened, is a serious crime, often punishable by the death penalty.

walkintall
walkintall

This is as sad as it gets. I hope the officer who fired the rifle knows.....KNOWS.....That as a LEO community and family, we have his back.

Cidcsp
Cidcsp

A horrible chaotic scene the officers entered into trying to comprehend in micro seconds what was occuring. The Monday morning civilian quarter backs, Police Officials, District Attorneys, judges, etc will have hours, days and months to reach conclusions on what should have occured. They weren’t there. Theyvdidn’t have to make the split second decisions. Please keep it honest, the person that caused this honorable Officers death and will make a living hell for the other Officer- was the deranged criminal.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Commissioner Stanley is misusing the word ambush here. This was not an ambush.

Marxest
Marxest

It is very unfortunate that the officer lost his life in such a violent manner. I know of a few cases of police officers that were killed by "friendly fire". Those officers were black. In one of those cases the officer received no punishment but promotion which was like a congratulations on his kill. I wonder what steps this department is going to take here.

sanman
sanman

Nothing but tragic and sad can be said.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

I wonder if Sgt Helus was down on the ground when the other officer blasted him. They can probably figure that out.

61mouse
61mouse

Does it really matter at this point and time. Now the officer that did ACCIDENTALLY shoot him will NEVER be right. But hopefully his military experience gets him through this

negolien
negolien

Stupidest post I read all day well done.

negolien
negolien

Oh sorry I was wrong this is by far much stupider comment. Ridiculous

negolien
negolien

Laying 8n wait for officers then opening fire is the very definition of ambush lol really?