Law Enforcement Community Pays Tribute to ‘Hero’ Sheriff’s Sgt Who Died Saving Lives in CA Bar Shooting

As shots were heard at a bar in a suburb of Thousands Oaks, California, a “hero” sheriff’s sergeant responded by putting himself in the chaos to try to “save lives” but was shot by the gunman.

At Borderline Bar and Grill, a country-western dance bar that is a popular venue for college students, the night took a turn when a gunman entered and opened fire.

Ringo Chiu/Reuters

Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department and an officer from the California Highway Patrol were the first to arrive on the scene just before 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Within 15 minutes, other officers arrived.

The gunman was found dead. It is yet to be determined if he shot himself or was shot by other officers, according to Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean.

Ringo Chiu/Reuters

The gunman entered the California bar dressed in black and armed with a Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Twelve people were killed, including Helus.

Dean estimated 10 to 15 people went to the area hospitals for what he expects are minor injuries.

Ringo Chiu/Reuters

Helus was not only a 29-year sheriff veteran, but he was also a husband and father. According to the Times, he called his wife before entering the bar.

Dean labeled Helus, who was set to retire next year, a “hero”; Helus was shot several times and died at an area hospital early Thursday morning.

“He died tonight going in to try to save others and paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Dean said.

Watch the video below:

“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Dean said. “There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that.

“There were people hiding in restrooms, people hiding in attics,” he added.

Dean, choking up over Helus’ death, said:

“Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff’s sergeant. He was totally committed, he gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero; he went in to save lives, to save other people.”

Watch the video below:

Police departments across the U.S. paid tribute to the fallen sergeant:

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were briefed on the mass shooting.

Trump praised the “great bravery shown by police,” and Pence shared that “our hearts are with the victims, survivors, & their families. A heroic sheriff’s sergeant was killed.”


  1. A “TRUE HERO”. He did not care about anybody in that bar who might have a negative opinion about law enforcement officers. He gave his life to try to save others that he knew nothing about.

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