Officer responding to mass shooting at Thousand Oaks bar was killed by friendly fire: authorities

The officer who was gunned down while responding to a mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, last month was killed by friendly fire, according to authorities. 

Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, was shot dead on Nov. 7 while responding to calls of an active shooter at the Borderline Bar & Grill, a sports bar popular among college students. 

Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said during a Friday press conference that Helus, 54, was struck by six bullets, five which were fired by the suspect, 28-year-old Ian David Long, and one which was discharged from a California Highway Patrol officer's weapon.

Officials said that while the injuries inflicted upon Helus by the gunman may have been survivable, the patrol officer's bullet struck a vital organ and likely caused the wound that killed him, KTLA reports.

The officer who fired the fatal shot, a 9-year veteran of the department, has voluntarily taken time off from the position, according to a California Highway Patrol spokesman.

12 PHOTOS
Victims of the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting in Thousand Oaks, California
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Victims of the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting in Thousand Oaks, California

Friends remembered Kristina Kaylee Morisette as a bubbly, happy person. "I saw Kristina walking around right before it happened … It still seems like a dream. I just can't believe it," said a friend of her's.

(Photo: Facebook)

Alaina Housley, an 18-year-old freshman at Pepperdine University was killed. Alaina's aunt and actress Tamera Mowry released a statement saying her niece was one of the victims. Mowry is married to former Fox News national correspondent Adam Housley who said, "you just don’t think that — same stupid quote — you just don’t think it’s going to happen to you."

(Photo: Twitter)

Cody Coffman's father, Jason Coffman, identified his 22-year-old son as one of the victims killed in the shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.

"Cody was the big brother that my kids need," Jason Coffman said during a Thursday press conference. "I have a daughter coming on the 29th of this month, and [Cody] was so excited to have his first sister," he said. "And now she'll never know him."

(FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

California Lutheran University confirmed that recent graduate, Justin Meek, was killed in the shooting. The 23-year-old was reportedly working as a bouncer at the bar.

(Photo: Facebook/Justin Meek)

Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in a deadly shooting at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

(Ventura County Sheriff's Department via AP)

Telemachus Orfanos, 27, was a U.S. Navy veteran and his friends called him "Tel," according to the Associated Press. His mother spoke with ABC7 and said, "I hope to God no one sends me anymore prayers. I want gun control. No more guns!"

(Photo: Facebook)

Noel Sparks was identified as one of the victims of the shooting by United Methodist Church Westlake Village on Facebook.

(Photo: Facebook)

#BreakingNews: The family of Sean Adler confirms he is among the victims of the #BorderlineBarShooting; Adler is su… https://t.co/pG0955zHQ2

Dan Manrique was a 33-year-old former Marine Corps radio operator and head of the Ventura County chapter of veterans non-profit Team Red, White & Blue.

(Photo: Facebook)

Marky Meza Jr., 20, was working as a busboy at Borderline Bar & Grill when he was killed.

(Photo: Facebook)

Jake Dunham, 21, was at Borderline on Wednesday night with his friend, Blake Dingman. Both were killed in the attack.

(Photo: Facebook)

Blake Dingman, 21, was reportedly a well-known local athlete who played high school baseball at Hillcrest Christian School in Thousand Oaks.

"We were really proud of him," his aunt, Janet Dingman, told PE.com in a phone interview. “He was a really, fun, energetic and loving nephew.”

(Photo: Instagram)

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In total, 12 victims, including Sgt. Helus, perished in the deadly attack, many of them young students who attended colleges in the surrounding area. 

The gunman, a former U.S. Marine, was also found dead at the scene from a self- inflicted gunshot wound.

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