In dark­ness and chaos, deputy was killed by friendly fire

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - WEATHER -

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.

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