Sunday, 17 February, 2019

'He died a hero:' Sheriff's sergeant dies in California bar mass shooting

Multiple victims injured in mass shooting at California bar A stretcher is loaded into an ambulance at the scene of a mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks CA on Thursday. Source
Melinda Barton | 09 November, 2018, 14:23

But Quinton King, who was visiting from Southern California, said Wednesday night's mass shooting has given him second thoughts.

Ventura County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran with a wife and son, was shot and killed inside.

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.

He went to Afghanistan from November 2010 to June 2011.

He later died of the wounds he sustained in a shootout with the gunman - one of 12 victims slain before the gunman apparently took his own life, finally bringing the bloodshed to an end. A crisis intervention specialist was called to his house and talked to him, but left without taking him into custody, Dean said.

Law enforcement was ushering Helus' casket through town in a motorcade, and crowds began to line the streets as Harris Faulkner interviewed Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Garo Kuredjian on the incident.

In August, two people were killed and almost a dozen others were injured when gunfire erupted during a Madden tournament at the Good Luck Have Fun Game Bar inside Chicago Pizza at the Jacksonville Landing. They determined that he was not an immediate danger to himself or others and that he could not be involuntarily taken to a mental hospital. They say the gunman did not say anything.

Sparks was a gifted dancer and artist, her friend Sarah Penrose said. When the gunman burst in, her friend, Cody Coffman, yelled for her to get down.

More recently he was living in a home where neighbours said they could hear frequent, aggressive shouting between Long and his mother, especially over the past year.

Erika Sigman, 19, was another witness.

Housley's Facebook page says she is from Napa, Calif., and photos on the site include several pictures of her surrounded by a group of friends at what appears to be her graduation from Vintage High School.

Kayla Simmons said she was inside the bar when shots were fired directly behind her. Bullets continued as she managed to escape outside into the parking lot.

Sarah Rose DeSon told ABC's "Good Morning America" that she saw the shooter draw his gun. He said he had an army of friends and families on alert, making calls, and watching the news looking out for his son.

Before he responded to the shooting, Wednesday night was like any other busy night for him, backing up fellow deputies on every call that he could, VCSD Senior Deputy Julie Novak told CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS.

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean named the suspect as Ian Long, aged 28.

At an earlier news conference Sheriff Dean's voice cracked as he spoke about Sgt. Helus, "He went in to save lives". As far as whether the shooting in California and other recent mass shootings will deter people from wanting to go out to bars and nightclubs, the reaction was mixed. Investigators didn't immediately know how many rounds the magazine could hold, he said. Within 15 minutes, other officers arrived.

A bomb squad was combing through the scene early Thursday morning after some witnesses reported that smoke bombs went off during the gunfire.

"This is going to be absolutely heart-wrenching time for me and my family", his father said, adding that Cody's younger brothers and soon-to-be born sister, would miss him terribly. The bar is near the campus.

"We offer our deepest condolences to the Housley family and ask that our community join us in keeping Alaina's family, friends, and loved ones in their prayers during this incredibly hard time", Pepperdine University added in a statement.