In darkness and chaos, deputy was killed by friendly fire
THOUSAND OAKS, CALIF. >> As terrified people scrambled out of broken windows, screaming and bleeding and fleeing a mass shooting inside a California bar, Sgt. Ron Helus and a highway patrolman decided to try to stop the gunman, running in together with assault-style rifles to what turned out to be an ambush.
The gunman fired on the officers, hitting Helus five times. They retreated and returned fire.
What happened next is every officer’s worst nightmare: One of the patrolman’s bullets hit his fellow policeman, piercing his heart and killing him.
That Helus was killed by friendly fire emerged for the first time at a somber news conference Friday, exactly one month since 28-year-old Ian David Long attacked countrymusic lovers at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, killing 12 and wounding 22 others. Long, who wasn’t hit by either officer’s gunfire, fatally shot himself.