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Thousand Oaks shooting: 'Hero' policeman Sergeant Ron Helus among 12 killed

09 November 2018, 04:10 | Glen Norman

Thousand Oaks shooting: 'Hero' policeman Sergeant Ron Helus among 12 killed

Thousand Oaks shooting: 'Hero' policeman Sergeant Ron Helus among 12 killed

The California man who killed a dozen people at a bar packed with college students was a former Marine who may have been suffering from PTSD, the Ventura County sheriff said.

An undated photo of Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, who was shot and killed in a mass shooting at a Thousands Oaks, Calif., bar, November 7, 2018.

The officer's name was Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. The patrolman rescued Helus from the line of gunfire and he was taken to a local hospital, where he died early Thursday.

Authorities said the motive for the attack Wednesday night was under investigation.

"He gave his all ... he went in to save lives, to save other people", Dean said.

Long was "the victim of a battery" at a bar in Thousand Oaks in January 2015, Dean said.

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Police cars are seen outside a country music bar and dance hall in Thousand Oaks, west of Los Angeles, after a gunman barged into a large, crowded venue and opened fire late November 7, 2018, killing at least 11 people, U.S. police said.

The venue was hosting a country music event for college students and its possible several hundred young people were inside. Some dived through windows while others hid in restrooms. "And the gunman started opening fire on the cashiers, the people working the cash register on the front desk". "We believe he shot himself".

"I was at the Las Vegas Route 91 mass shooting, it's a big thing for us, we're all a big family and unfortunately this family got hit twice", said Nicholas Champion.

When the shooting was over, 13 were dead, including the shooter who was found by responding officers.

Another witness of the California shooting, Brendan Kelly, also said he was at the Las Vegas massacre.

Helus had been at the department for almost three decades, and was planning to retire within the next year, the sheriff said, choking back tears.

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The gunman opened fire at around 11:20 p.m. (1:20 a.m. CT Thursday).

The gunman is also dead.

"This is a very close-knit community", Kuredjian said, adding that Thousand Oaks - north and west of Los Angeles - is a "pro-law-enforcement community" as well. California Highway Patrol was on scene within 3 minutes, with first officer to enter shot numerous times.

"I tried to get as many people to cover as I could", Knapp said.

"There's no doubt that they saved lives by going in there and engaging with the suspect", said Dean, who was set to retire on Friday. As they escaped through the bar's back door, she heard a second round of shots.

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