Regina Leader-Post - - WORLD -

THOU­SAND OAKS, CALIF. A sher­iff ’s deputy who died in a mass shoot­ing at a South­ern Cal­i­for­nia bar was shot five times by a gun­man who mas­sa­cred 11 oth­ers, but the of­fi­cer was killed by friendly fire, au­thor­i­ties said Fri­day.

Sgt. Ron Helus, pic­tured, was shot in the heart by a Cal­i­for­nia high­way pa­trol­man who had joined him in a fire­fight with the gun­man at the Bor­der­line Bar & Grill in Thou­sand Oaks on Nov. 7, Ven­tura County Sher­iff Bill Ayub said.

“It was just a tragic de­tail that un­folded so rapidly, in my view it was un­avoid­able,” Ayub said. “They were am­bushed al­most im­me­di­ately.”

Ayub said the fa­tal shot did not di­min­ish the hero­ism shown by the of­fi­cers. The CHP of­fi­cer was not iden­ti­fied, but is a nine-year vet­eran of the force who is on leave.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors did not of­fer any more in­sight into what drove Ian David Long, 28, to storm the coun­try and west­ern bar at an event for col­lege stu­dents.

The first two of­fi­cers to ar­rive at the scene, Helus and a Cal­i­for­nia High­way Patrol of­fi­cer, saw at least 100 peo­ple flee­ing the bar.

Long had got­ten into a tac­ti­cal po­si­tion and fired on them when they en­tered. Helus, a 29-year vet­eran of the depart­ment, was close to re­tire­ment.

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