CHP bul­let killed deputy who re­sponded to Border­line shoot­ing

The Sacramento Bee - - Capitol & California - BY SOUMYA KARLAMANGLA AND HANNAH FRY Los An­ge­les Times

The fa­tal bul­let that struck Ven­tura County Sher­iff’s Sgt. Ron Helus dur­ing a chaotic shoot­ing scene in­side Border­line Bar and Grill in Novem­ber was fired from a Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol of­fi­cer’s ri­fle, au­thor­i­ties said Fri­day.

Helus was hit five times by gun­fire from Ian David Long, 28, who was armed with a knife and a .45cal­iber Glock hand­gun with a laser sight at­tached as he stormed into the Thou­sand Oaks busi­ness.

How­ever, a coro­ner’s of­fi­cial said Helus might have been able to sur­vive those in­juries. The sixth and fa­tal round, which struck Helus in the heart, was fired from a fel­low of­fi­cer’s gun.

“This news is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult for all of us to process and un­der­stand,” Ven­tura County Sher­iff Bill Ayub said.

The in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by au­thor­i­ties comes on the onemonth an­niver­sary of the hor­rific shoot­ing that killed 12 peo­ple and wounded oth­ers.

The Border­line Bar and Grill was host­ing linedanc­ing les­sons for col­lege stu­dents on Nov. 7 when the crack of gun­fire echoed through the busi­ness about 11:20 p.m. Long im­me­di­ately tossed smoke bombs and fired two of his seven high­ca­pac­ity mag­a­zines that packed 30 shots each into the crowd as pa­trons tried to es­cape, Ayub said last month.

Helus and a Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol of­fi­cer were the first peo­ple to run into the bar, min­utes af­ter the first 911 call. Long, who was set up in a tac­ti­cal po­si­tion to pre­pare for re­spond­ing of­fi­cers, im­me­di­ately am­bushed them. When they stormed the bar, Helus was po­si­tioned be­tween Long and the of­fi­cer, au­thor­i­ties said.

The two ex­changed gun­fire with Long, and Helus was shot mul­ti­ple times. The CHP of­fi­cer dragged Helus out of the build­ing and from the line of fire. Au­thor­i­ties would not say whether the fa­tal bul­let struck Helus from the front or the back.

“This was some­thing that un­folded just over the course of a few sec­onds,” Ayub said. “Both Sgt. Helus and the CHP of­fi­cer know­ingly and will­ingly went into what can only be de­scribed as a com­bat sit­u­a­tion, risk­ing their own lives to save many oth­ers, and it is a fact that many lives were saved that night.”

Long later was found in­side the bar with a sin­gle gun­shot wound to the head. An au­topsy de­ter­mined he had shot him­self, au­thor­i­ties said.

L.D. Maples, chief of the Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol Coastal Divi­sion, said he in­formed the of­fi­cer Thurs­day that the bul­let from his ri­fle had fa­tally struck Helus. The of­fi­cer was dev­as­tated, he said.

The nine-year vet­eran of the CHP, who has a mil­i­tary back­ground, is tak­ing some vol­un­tary time off. His name has not been re­leased.

CHP Com­mis­sioner War­ren Stan­ley said the agency was “pro­foundly sad­dened” to learn of the new de­vel­op­ments and ex­tended con­do­lences to Helus’ fam­ily, friends and col­leagues.

“The mere thought of some­thing like this hap­pen­ing is dev­as­tat­ing to all of us and un­der­scores the dif­fi­cult and dan­ger­ous cir­cum­stances law en­force­ment faces, of­ten with only mere sec­onds to re­act,” he said.

DEAN MUSGROVE Orange County Regis­ter

Ven­tura County Sher­iff Bill Ayub speaks about the death of Sgt. Ron Helus with med­i­cal ex­am­iner Christopher Young and CHP Costal Divi­sion Chief L.D. Maples.

Ron Helus

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