Monday, 20 May, 2019

Deputy Killed in Thousand Oaks Attack Died from Friendly Fire

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Steven Clarke | 08 December, 2018, 13:48

Autopsy results revealed that Sgt. Ron Helus was struck by six bullets inside the Borderline Bar and Grill - five fired by the gunman, Ian David Long, and one by a California Highway Patrol officer, local station KTLA 5 reported.

Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said Friday it was a sixth shot, fired by the CHP officer, that killed Helus. However, he fired more than 50 rounds and had seven high-capacity, 30-round clips on him - a total of 230 bullets.

The bullet that killed Sgt. Ron Helus was sacked by a fellow law enforcement officer, says Ventura County Sheriff William Ayub; Jeff Paul reports from Los Angeles.

He alone created the violence.

"The burden lies exclusively 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".

Helus and CHP officers Todd Barret and Lidia Espinoza were the first to arrive on scene at Borderline, just minutes after the shooting began around 11:20 p.m. November 7.

"These bullets caused serious injuries, but potentially survivable injuries", said Dr. Christopher Young, Ventura County's chief medical examiner. The suspect, who had been lying in wait for the officers to arrive, immediately ambushed the pair with gunfire as they entered the building.

Two women wearing blankets leave the area near the Borderline Bar and Grill after a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Nov. 8, 2018. "While Sgt. Helus and the officer's actions prevented the suspect from killing more people, tragically during the fierce but brief firefight that ensued, a round fired by our officer toward the suspect did strike Sgt. Helus". "Authorities would not say whether the fatal bullet struck Helus from the front or the back".

Long's motives are still unclear.

CHP Coastal Division Chief L.D. Maples described the CHP officer, a nine-year veteran, as a "consummate professional" with a "well-trained military background".

Cavs trade George Hill to Bucks for Dellavedova, Henson, picks
Dekker's short stint in Cleveland ends after nine games, where he averaged 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists per contest. Hill recently returned after missing 11 games with a shoulder injury, and the Cavs have been shopping him around for a deal.

At the news conference on Friday, authorities painted a clearer picture of the events leading to Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus' death.

The CHP officer was only identified as a 9-year veteran of the force.

The sheriff echoed Maples' sentiments.

That sixth bullet was fatal, Ayub said.

"Ron's wife is amazingly strong", Ayub said.

Without fail, the TOPD officers at Borderline reacted to the news in a similar fashion, he said.

California Highway Patrol Commissioner Warren Stanley added in a statement, "The mere thought of something like this happening is devastating to all of us and underscores the hard and unsafe circumstances law enforcement faces, often with only mere seconds to react".

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

"It is important to remember that the horrific circumstances at the Borderline Bar and Grill on that Wednesday night exactly one month ago today were caused by the evil act of one individual", Ayub said.

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