Mass shooting in Southern California nightclub leaves 12 dead - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Mass shooting in Southern California nightclub leaves 12 dead

LAS VEGAS — Ten days after the mass shooting that left 11 people dead at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, another mass killing occurred in a Southern California nightclub that took the lives of 11 patrons and a Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant. The gunman died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Authorities said at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday night, 28-year-old former US Marine, Ian David Long, (above) wearing all black with his face partly covered, deployed a smoke device and fired a .45 caliber handgun into a crowd of patrons at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, a popular country music bar.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus from VCSD

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said that sheriff’s office Sgt. Ron Helus and a California Highway Patrolman responded to the bar, heard gunfire and went inside.

Helus was struck multiple times by gunfire as he confronted the gunman. Helus was later declared dead at a hospital.

Sheriff Dean said Helus had been talking to his wife when the shooting call came in.

He said to her, “Hey I got to go handle a call. I love you. I’ll talk to you later.

The 29-year sheriff’s department veteran was about a year away from retirement.

The Borderline Bar and Grill was often frequented by California residents who were survivors of the October 1 Las Vegas Massacre. One survivor was inside the bar when the shooting occurred but escaped without injury.

Sgt. Ron Helus sacrificed his life to save others. He did not hesitate to make entry into the bar.

Retired Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Captain Curt Rothschiller told the Baltimore Post Examiner on Thursday, “Ron Helus followed his training and engaged the bad guy a soon as he arrived on scene. He was an ex-narcotics detective with SWAT experience who had extensive training in dynamic entries. Ron saved numerous lives by putting himself in harms way. That’s what we get paid to do.”

Retired New York City Police Department Detective Frank Serpico told the Baltimore Post-Examiner, “Most unfortunate about Sgt. Ron Helus, a true hero.”

The Baltimore Post-Examiner extends our condolences to the families of those killed.


About the author

Doug Poppa

Doug authored over 135 articles on the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas Massacre, more than any other single journalist in the country. He investigates stories on corruption, law enforcement and crime. Doug is a US Army Military Police Veteran, former police officer, deputy sheriff and criminal investigator. Doug spent 20 years in the hotel/casino industry as an investigator and then as Director of Security and Surveillance. He also spent a short time with the US Dept. of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration. In 1986 Doug was awarded Criminal Investigator of the Year by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. In 1992 and 1993 Doug testified in court that a sheriff’s office official and the county prosecutor withheld exculpatory evidence during the 1988 trial of a man accused of the attempted murder of his wife. Doug’s testimony led to a judge’s decision to order the release of the man from prison in 1992 and awarded him a new trial, in which he was later acquitted. As a result of Doug breaking the police “blue wall of silence,” he was fired by the county sheriff. His story was featured on Inside Edition, Current Affair and CBS News’ “Street Stories with Ed Bradley”. In 1992 after losing his job, at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Doug infiltrated a group of men who were plotting the kidnapping of a Dupont fortune heir and his wife. Doug has been a guest on national television and radio programs speaking on the stories he now writes as an investigative journalist. Contact the author.

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