Officer died of friendly fire in Thousand Oaks shooting

Ron Helus

Ron Helus

The horrific shooting left 12 people dead with others wounded.

Helus has been credited as being a hero after he rushed into the bar to confront the gunman.

During what the CHP called a "fierce firefight", a sixth bullet fired by the CHP officer hit Helus in the chest and heart, authorities said.

The bullet responsible for killing a Ventura County Sheriff's sergeant during November's mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill was sacked by a California Highway Patrol officer, authorities said Friday.

The highway patrolman was among a number of officers who were involved in a shoot-out with Long.

Authorities gave updates on their investigation at a news conference Friday.

"He's devastated", said L.D. Maples, chief of the highway patrol's coastal division. 'It surprised all of us. Authorities would not release his name; he is a nine-year veteran with a military background. He is on leave. "Sgt. Helus was struck five times by gunfire from the suspect".

Helus was wearing a bulletproof vest when he was shot, but officials did not say where the bullet entered his body.

The shots fired by the gunman "caused serious injuries but potentially survivable injuries", chief medical examiner Chris R. Young told the outlet.

We know that Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus and a CHP officer bravely entered the bar together and engaged the suspect who had already shot and killed numerous people inside the establishment.

Stronger armour is available, often at an officer's own expense, but many don't like it, he said, as it can be heavy and cause fatigue.

Ayub said the finding that Helus was killed by another lawman did not diminish the heroism shown by both men. "In the face of danger, Sgt. Helus courageously upheld the oath he took to lay down his life rather than swerve from the path of duty".

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"The burden lies exclusively with him", Ayub said, "not those who tried to save lives, those who tried to escape and certainly not with those who died while simply trying to enjoy an evening with friends".

Helus and the unnamed male CHP officer were the first law enforcement officers to respond to the shooting.

He called the situation unavoidable.

"This was a dynamic, chaotic event that led to a very brief but furious gun battle between the killer and the lawmen", Ayub continued.

Sgt. Ron Helus, 54, was struck by five rounds from the suspect's gun and a sixth round from the rifle of a California Highway Patrol officer.

Long threw smoke grenades into the bar, obstructing what employees and bar-goers could see before he opened fire.

Police have said Long fired more than 50 rounds from a Glock.45-caliber pistol during his attack inside Borderline.

Panicked revellers ran for the doors, dived under tables and piled on top of each other in an effort to dodge the gunfire.

"People were running through the parking lot and jumping out of windows to escape".

Long had gotten into a tactical position and fired on them when they entered, killing Helus.

The casket of Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus arrives on stage for a memorial service on November 15 in Westlake Village, Calif.

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