Thousand Oaks: At least 12 killed at California bar shooting

Sergeant Ron Helus

Sergeant Ron Helus

A former Marine - armed with a Glock 21.45-caliber handgun with an illegal extended magazine - opened fire on a packed California country music bar Wednesday night, killing 12 people, including a veteran sheriff's sergeant nearing retirement, officials said.

The shooting, which also killed a law enforcement officer, took place at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. Officers found him dead inside.

'As I told his wife, he died a hero; he went into save lives, to save other people, ' he said.

Authorities found up to 15 more people at the scene with injuries, not including those who escaped from the nightclub, which had been hosting a "College Country" night.

Only 10 days ago a gunman killed 11 worshipers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

As the entered, Sergeant Helus was struck multiple times with gunfire. "I know we don't have all the details in yet, but you know, it just feels like it's an attack on our community".

After almost three decades policing the area, the veteran was due to retire next year. Helus was hit several times.

A friend, Sgt. Eric Buschow, said Helus took on some of the toughest assignments, was on the SWAT team for much of his career and worked in narcotics and investigations.

He is survived by his wife and son.

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"I love you. I'll talk to you later", Dean said. "He was totally committed". He gave his all. "He went in to save other people". "He did exactly that tonight".

Map of California locating shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks. One of them was Jason Coffman, father of a 22-year-old man who he learned was among those killed.

"I have nothing to believe there is any terrorism link but we will certainly look at that option", he said. "His name was Cody Coffman, my first-born son", an emotional Jason said.

He said: "We will pray, begin to comfort one another in our grief, and hold the families, friends and loved ones of the victims in our hearts". She was the niece of actor and The Real host Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley.

"We have had several contacts with Mr Long over the years, minor events, a traffic collision", Dean told a news conference.

"She's an fantastic girl", Adam Housley previously told the Los Angeles Times. "From what I heard, the gunman started shooting at the front desk".

California Luthern University graduate Jason Meek also died in the tragedy, the school confirmed in a statement.

The sheriff said the gunman has not been identified and there was no known motive for the shooting.

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