The bullet that killed a Ventura County Sheriff’s sergeant during November’s mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill was fired by a California Highway Patrol officer, authorities said Friday.
Sgt. Ron Helus, who was close to retirement, was also hit by five rounds from 28-year-old gunman Ian David Long.
William Ayub, Ventura County Sheriff said that it was the sixth round, fired by a fellow law enforcement officer, that hit Helus heart and killed him, during a Friday press conference.
Ayub said “It was just a tragic detail that unfolded so rapidly, in my view it was unavoidable, “They were ambushed almost immediately.”
Helus reported to the scene after Long raided into the Thousand Oaks bar Nov. 7 and splattered the crowd with gunfire, killing 12 people.
Long threw smoke grenades into the crowd, disturbing what they could see before he opened fire. He then used a flashlight with a laser sight attached to his .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol as he shot at the establishment, which was packed mostly with young people dancing to country music.
Helus has been recognised as an hero after he rushed into the bar to confront the gunman.
Panicked revelers broke windows, dived under tables and piled on top of each other in an effort to avoid the gunfire.
Long later killed himself.
Ayub said the lethal shot did not reduce the heroism displayed by the officers. The CHP officer was not recognised but is a 9-year veteran of the force who is on leave.