Thousand Oaks shooting: Sgt. Ron Helus was fatally shot by friendly fire, officials say

Sgt. Ron Helus was struck 5 instances by gunfire from the suspect, Ian David Lengthy, in line with Ventura County Sheriff Invoice Ayub, however was hit by a sixth bullet from a CHP officer’s rifle.

Helus may have probably survived the 5 wounds from Lengthy’s weapon, however the sixth bullet, fired by the CHP officer who entered the bar with Helus, proved deadly. It struck Helus within the chest and his coronary heart, in line with Dr. Christopher Younger, the Ventura County health worker.

“That is unhappy information and a tragedy,” Younger mentioned, “however finally this was essentially the most extreme damage sustained.”

Younger informed reporters officers had been conscious of Helus’ damage however that they waited to launch the knowledge earlier than getting affirmation from FBI ballistics evaluation.

Ventura County sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus had planned to retire next year.

Helus, a 29-year regulation enforcement veteran, was set to retire from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Workplace subsequent yr. He was among the many first officers by way of the door on the Borderline when the capturing started November 7 and was shot as he tried to cease the gunman, who killed 11 others within the assault. Helus later died at a hospital.

Ayub mentioned the accident was, in his view, “unavoidable.”

“They had been ambushed virtually instantly after coming into,” Ayub mentioned. “They retreated and tried to cease the suspect with their very own gunfire. And sadly, it was dynamic, there was lots of motion, there was smoke, it was darkish.”

Helus and the CHP officer entered the bar on the identical time, he mentioned, however in some unspecified time in the future, Helus ended up between the officer and the gunman.

However officers from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Workplace and the CHP agreed the gunman was the one individual chargeable for the violence that unfolded that night time.

“The burden lies solely with him,” Ayub mentioned, “not those that tried to save lots of lives, those that tried to flee and positively not with those that died whereas merely attempting to take pleasure in a night with mates.

“Additionally it is necessary to notice that the information I’ve shared with you immediately under no circumstances diminishes the heroic actions each males exhibited on the Borderline on the night time of November 7.”

There isn’t any new info relating to a motive within the mass capturing, the sheriff mentioned.

CHP officer is ‘devastated’

CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley mentioned in an announcement the company was “profoundly saddened” by the information.

“The mere considered one thing like this taking place is devastating to all of us and underscores the tough and harmful circumstances regulation enforcement faces, typically with solely mere seconds to react.”

Stanley prolonged condolences to Helus’ household, mates and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Workplace.

Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus was set to retire soon. He was killed in the Thousand Oaks attack

“There are not any phrases that may be expressed as to the unimaginable sorrow his household is coping with,” he mentioned.

LD Maples, CHP’s coastal division chief, mentioned he delivered the information to the officer in query Thursday.

“He had no clue it was coming, was as shocked as all of us,” Maples mentioned. “He is devastated. He is a consummate skilled, well-trained, navy background.”

The circumstances of the capturing are the main target of an ongoing investigation, officers mentioned.

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