The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said one of its officers “died a hero” following a mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., which left 13 dead including the gunman.
During a briefing early Thursday morning, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said among those killed was Sheriff Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department. Helus was looking to retire “in the next year or so,” Dean said.
Helus was survived by his wife and son.
“Ron was a hardworking dedicated sheriff’s sergeant,” said Dean, trying to hold back tears. “He was totally committed. He gave his all. Tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero because he went in to save lives, to save other people.”
On Wednesday night, a hooded gunman dressed in black opened fire at a country dance bar in Southern California, killing Helus and 11 other victims. The shooter, apparently firing at random, also died in the melee.
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