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In California Shooting, Sheriff’s Sergeant Made ‘Ultimate Sacrifice’ Trying to Stop Gunman
The Wall Street Journal
Officer rushed into Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks after call came in about shooting
By Scott Calvert and Jon Kamp
Sgt. Ron Helus was on the phone with his wife late Wednesday night when a call came in about a shooting at a country-western bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
“Hey, I gotta go handle a call. I love you. I’ll talk to you later,” he said before hanging up, according to Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean.
Sgt. Helus, 54 years old, was fatally shot after rushing into Borderline Bar & Grill, the sheriff said. “He went in there to save people and made the ultimate sacrifice,” Sheriff Dean said at a news briefing Thursday.
A 29-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, Sgt. Helus was within a couple of years of retirement, Sheriff Dean said. He was the father of a grown son, a fly-fishing enthusiast and had his own firearms-instruction business.
“It’s awful. Ron is a great guy,” said Sheriff Dean. “He was close to everybody. He was a hard worker, and the hearts are broken all over.”
On Thursday, law-enforcement officers in cars and on motorcycles led a hearse carrying Sgt. Helus’s body on a slow-moving procession from a local hospital to the medical examiner’s office. Many motorists pulled over to watch, and some pedestrians waved flags from the sidewalk.