'Hero' police officer killed in California bar massacre

Elias Hubbard
November 9, 2018

The sheriff's deputy who died was identified as Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year-veteran of the department, Dean said.

Police described the scene as "horrific" and said there was blood everywhere.

"It's still very fluid, and I hope to give you guys updates in terms of both the number and the status of the shooter". He said he regrets not staying in the bar to help other victims.

Authorities say they don't know if there is a terrorism link to the shooting.

The bar is a country-themed bar known for its large dance floor and live music events, according to its website. Others reported fewer shots, and he might have tossed smoke bombs.

"I saw him point to the back of the cash register ... and he just kept firing".

Authorities have identified the shooter and the handgun he used in the to kill 12 people.

He joined the Marines in 2008 and rose to the rank of corporal before leaving active service in 2013, Marine spokesman Joseph Butterfield wrote in an email.

A neighbor, Tom Hanson, told local television station KTLA that he and other neighbors knew Long "had issues". "He was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally". Mental health specialists talked to him and didn't feel he qualified to be detained under the state's "5150" mental health detention law, Dean said.

Sheriff Dean added Long obtained the murder weapon - a Glock 21.45 calibre handgun - legally, but the weapon had an illegal magazine extension.

"I went with 11 friends, so far we've only found six of them", Whittler said.

A woman in the background added: "He was kind of a loner".

He praised law enforcement, saying "Great bravery shown by police" and said "God bless all of the victims and families of the victims". Dean said Helus undoubtedly saved lives by going in to confront the gunman.

"I'm afraid that Cody ran to the gunman instead of away from the gunman".

"He reloaded and then just kept on popping them off", said Tim, John's stepdad.

Marc Brown, an ABC7 reporter, said that he has seen one dead body outside the venue which does not match the description of the suspect. "Just an awesome investigator". The highway patrolman cleared the perimeter and pulled Helus out, and waited as a SWAT team and scores more officers arrived.

The dead were 11 people inside the bar and a sheriff's sergeant who was the first officer inside the door, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.

"[He] said to her, 'Hey I got to go handle a call".

"Oh, Cody. I love you, son", Jason Coffman said through sobs, leaning on his father-in-law.

Ventura County Sheriff's Office Capt. Garo Kuredjian said at a news conference early Thursday that a sheriff's deputy was also shot and taken to a hospital.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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