Mass shooting leaves 12 dead at Thousand Oaks nightclubLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Mass shooting leaves 12 dead at Thousand Oaks nightclub

LAS VEGAS — Ten days after the mass shooting that left 11 people dead at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, another mass killing occurred in a Southern California nightclub that took the lives of 11 patrons and a Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant. The gunman died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Authorities said at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday night, 28-year-old former US Marine, Ian David Long, (above) wearing all black with his face partly covered, deployed a smoke device and fired a .45 caliber handgun into a crowd of patrons at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, a popular country music bar.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus from VCSD

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said that sheriff’s office Sgt. Ron Helus and a California Highway Patrolman responded to the bar, heard gunfire and went inside.

Helus was struck multiple times by gunfire as he confronted the gunman. Helus was later declared dead at a hospital.

Sheriff Dean said Helus had been talking to his wife when the shooting call came in.

He said to her, “Hey I got to go handle a call. I love you. I’ll talk to you later.

The 29-year sheriff’s department veteran was about a year away from retirement.

The Borderline Bar and Grill was often frequented by California residents who were survivors of the October 1 Las Vegas Massacre. One survivor was inside the bar when the shooting occurred but escaped without injury.

Sgt. Ron Helus sacrificed his life to save others. He did not hesitate to make entry into the bar.

Survivors of mass shooting huddle outside the Borderline Bar and Grll (YouTube)

Retired Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Captain Curt Rothschiller told the Los Angeles Post Examiner on Thursday, “Ron Helus followed his training and engaged the bad guy a soon as he arrived on scene. He was an ex-narcotics detective with SWAT experience who had extensive training in dynamic entries. Ron saved numerous lives by putting himself in harms way. That’s what we get paid to do.”

Retired New York City Police Department Detective Frank Serpico told the Los Angeles Post-Examiner, “Most unfortunate about Sgt. Ron Helus, a true hero.”

LAPX extends our condolences to the families of those killed.

Top photo is a YouTube screenshot of
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean speaking at the scene of the mass shooting


About the author

Doug Poppa

Doug Poppa is a United States Army Military Police Veteran, former law enforcement officer, criminal investigator and private sector security and investigations management professional with 35 years of real-world investigative experience. He has 19 years experience in a hotel and casino environment, 14 of which were in security management positions. In 1986 he was awarded Criminal Investigator of the Year by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. Contact the author.

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