Sgt. Ron Helus was one of the 12 killed in the shooting at Borderline Bar & Grille in Thousand Oaks, CA. He’s being hailed as a ‘hero’ for his efforts to take down the gunman. Learn more about this great man, here.
Ron Helus, 54, a 29-year member of the Ventura county police force, is among the dead in the shooting in Thousand Oaks, California on November 7. Helus was one of the first to respond to the shooting at Borderline Bar & Grille, where Pepperdine and Cal Lutheran students were partying on college night. Learn more about Helus, who’s rightly being hailed as a “hero”:
1. He attempted to stop the gunman before he was shot. Helus was one of the first on the scene after the department received a frantic 911 call about a shooting at the bar. After entering the bar, he attempted to shoot the gunman, now identified as 28-year-old Ian Long, “several times” before being shot himself. Helus was taken to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and died, according to Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean.
2. His colleagues described him as a hardworking, dedicated hero. “He went in to save lives, to save other people,” Dean said of Helus during a November 7 press conference, his voice breaking. “He was totally committed, he gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero. It’s so tragic losing Ron. We go to the gym together, work out together. it’s horrific and terrible and it saddens our hearts.”
“I don’t think there’s anything more heroic than what he did,” sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Buschow told CNN the morning after the shooting. “He went in there to save lives. He took decisive action, and it’s just a tragic loss for us.
3. He was less than a year away from retirement. Helus had been with the force for 29 years, and was considering retirement within the next year. Prior to becoming sergeant, Helus served many years on a SWAT team, and worked drug-investigation assignments.
4. He was known for being an excellent cop. “He’s done just about all you can do as a cop. … An excellent street cop. His tactics were sound,” Dean told AP. “He had a big heart. Just a great guy. We’re all hurting.”
5. He is survived by his son and his wife. “He loved spending time with his son,” Buschow told CNN. “They would go fishing up in the Sierras together. My heart goes out to his family — I can’t imagine what they’re going through right now.” Prior to the shooting, he had talked to his wife on the phone, as he does several times during his shifts. “Hey I gotta go handle a call. I love you. I’ll talk to you later,” Dean said of the conversation.