Cal­i­for­nia deputy killed by friendly fire

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

THOU­SAND OAKS, Calif. — A sher­iff’s deputy who died in a mass shoot­ing at a 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 was fa­tally shot in the heart by a Cal­i­for­nia high­way pa­trol­man who had joined him in the chaotic gun­bat­tle at the Bor­der­line Bar & Grill in Thou­sand Oaks on Nov. 7, Ven­tura County Sher­iff Bill Ayub said.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors did not of­fer any more in­sight into what drove Ian David Long, 28, to storm the coun­try-west­ern bar dur­ing a weekly event for col­lege stu­dents.

Helus and the Cal­i­for­nia High­way Patrol of­fi­cer re­turned fire with high-pow­ered ri­fles, but Long was not struck by any of their rounds and took his own life af­ter the fire­fight. Helus was wear­ing a bul­let-re­sis­tant vest when he was shot, but of­fi­cials did not say where the bul­let en­tered his body. His wounds from Long’s hand­gun were se­ri­ous, but po­ten­tially sur­viv­able, said Christo­pher Young, the chief med­i­cal ex­am­iner.

The Cal­i­for­nia High­way Patrol of­fi­cer was only iden­ti­fied as a nine-year vet­eran of the force. He is on leave.

AP/The Orange County Reg­is­ter/DEAN MUS­GROVE

A photo of Sgt. Ron Helus adorns a me­mo­rial in Thou­sand Oaks, Calif.

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