Sergeant killed in California bar shooting described as hero - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sergeant killed in California bar shooting described as hero

Posted: Updated:
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -

Friends are remembering sheriff's sergeant who was killed trying to stop a shooting rampage at a California bar as a "cop's cop" who didn't hesitate to run toward danger.
  
Ventura County sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus died of gunshot wounds he suffered trying to stop gunman Ian David Long, who authorities say opened fire in a packed country music bar, killing 12 before police believe he turned the gun on himself Wednesday night.
  
Colleagues of Helus describe him as a friend and an exceptional man and officer.
  
"The fact that he was the first in the door doesn't surprise me at all," sheriff's Sgt. Eric Buschow said Thursday. "He's just one of those guys that wouldn't hesitate in a situation."
  
Helus was married with a grown son and took up fly fishing a few years ago, Buschow said. He loved fishing in the Sierra Nevada mountains with his son.
  
"He was just a great guy, a gentle soul," Buschow said. "Patient. Calm no matter what. When you call 911, he's one of the guys you want showing up."
  
He said Helus was on the SWAT team for much of his career and worked in narcotics and investigations.
  
"If you were a victim of a crime, you want him investigating the case," Buschow said. "He would go to the ends of the Earth to find a suspect. Just an awesome investigator."
  
He said he has no doubt Helus' tactics at the scene "were sound when he went in."
  
"But unfortunately, you go into the unknown, you know there's shots being fired, obviously the suspect was in there and ready for him," he said.
  
Sheriff Geoff Dean, who choked back tears while talking about Helus, said his friend 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,'" Dean said.
  
Dean said he has no doubt Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer who also was the first to respond "saved lives by going in there and engaging with the suspect."
  
He called Helus a hero.
  
"He went in there to save people and paid the ultimate price," he said.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police confirm body of missing Spokane man Ian Powers found in bay; Death ruled accidental

    Police confirm body of missing Spokane man Ian Powers found in bay; Death ruled accidental

    Tuesday, November 20 2018 11:35 AM EST2018-11-20 16:35:21 GMT

    SAN FRANCISCO - The Santa Clara Police Department has confirmed the body of 32-year-old Ian Powers from Spokane was found in the water near Alviso Marina on Saturday. According to the department, the Coroner's Office has determined that the cause of death was salt water drowning. The manner of death has been ruled an accident. 

    >>

    SAN FRANCISCO - The Santa Clara Police Department has confirmed the body of 32-year-old Ian Powers from Spokane was found in the water near Alviso Marina on Saturday. According to the department, the Coroner's Office has determined that the cause of death was salt water drowning. The manner of death has been ruled an accident. 

    >>
  • Citing E. coli outbreak, US officials say don't eat romaine

    Citing E. coli outbreak, US officials say don't eat romaine

    Tuesday, November 20 2018 3:34 PM EST2018-11-20 20:34:25 GMT

    NEW YORK - U.S. health officials are telling people to avoid eating romaine lettuce because of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 32 people in 11 states. The Food and Drug Administration says it's working with officials in Canada, where people are also being warned to stay away from romaine lettuce.

    >>

    NEW YORK - U.S. health officials are telling people to avoid eating romaine lettuce because of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 32 people in 11 states. The Food and Drug Administration says it's working with officials in Canada, where people are also being warned to stay away from romaine lettuce.

    >>
  • How you can help the family of 8-year-old boy randomly stabbed at Spokane Valley gas station

    How you can help the family of 8-year-old boy randomly stabbed at Spokane Valley gas station

    Monday, November 19 2018 9:46 PM EST2018-11-20 02:46:19 GMT

    Several locals are trying to help the family of an eight-year-old boy, who was randomly stabbed at a gas station Saturday. Rayel Von Quade said she and three others (Salem Rose Sovereign, Quincey Brooks and Dani Loup) have been in touch with the Bush family. (KHQ has reached out to the family and have not heard back.) "They're, of course, very overwhelmed and stressed out right now and she's been dealing with a lot of messages from a lot of people coming through. But she says t...

    >>

    Several locals are trying to help the family of an eight-year-old boy, who was randomly stabbed at a gas station Saturday. Rayel Von Quade said she and three others (Salem Rose Sovereign, Quincey Brooks and Dani Loup) have been in touch with the Bush family. (KHQ has reached out to the family and have not heard back.) "They're, of course, very overwhelmed and stressed out right now and she's been dealing with a lot of messages from a lot of people coming through. But she says t...

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • CdA School District Proposing Levy Increase To Fund Additional Mental Health Counselors, School Security, Teacher Pay

    CdA School District Proposing Levy Increase To Fund Additional Mental Health Counselors, School Security, Teacher Pay

    Tuesday, November 20 2018 8:35 PM EST2018-11-21 01:35:58 GMT

    The Coeur d’Alene School District wants your input on a proposed levy. The levy funds school operations and maintenance and is currently totaled at $16 million, but the district is proposing an additional $4 million to help fund several areas of importance. 

    >>

    The Coeur d’Alene School District wants your input on a proposed levy. The levy funds school operations and maintenance and is currently totaled at $16 million, but the district is proposing an additional $4 million to help fund several areas of importance. 

    >>
  • Fairchild Airman invents mechanism for KC-135 to keep its landing gear doors from breaking

    Fairchild Airman invents mechanism for KC-135 to keep its landing gear doors from breaking

    Tuesday, November 20 2018 8:11 PM EST2018-11-21 01:11:12 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - If there is anyone who knows their way around a KC-135 Stratotanker, it's Tech. Sgt. Shawn Roberge. Roberge is an Aircraft Structural Maintenance Section Chief; in other words, he fixes things. And since Roberge is constantly working on planes that were built in the 1950's, it's fair to say he stays busy. "The Air Force depends more and more on the 135's before the new tanker comes online," said Roberge. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - If there is anyone who knows their way around a KC-135 Stratotanker, it's Tech. Sgt. Shawn Roberge. Roberge is an Aircraft Structural Maintenance Section Chief; in other words, he fixes things. And since Roberge is constantly working on planes that were built in the 1950's, it's fair to say he stays busy. "The Air Force depends more and more on the 135's before the new tanker comes online," said Roberge. 

    >>
  • Investigators determine Tuesday house fire caused by combustibles kept too close to wood stove

    Investigators determine Tuesday house fire caused by combustibles kept too close to wood stove

    Tuesday, November 20 2018 7:42 PM EST2018-11-21 00:42:26 GMT

    Spokane fire investigators determine Tuesday house fire was caused by keeping combustibles too close to a wood stove. Firefighters responded to the house fire in the 9600 block of N Seminole Drive on Tuesday morning.

    >>

    Spokane fire investigators determine Tuesday house fire was caused by keeping combustibles too close to a wood stove. Firefighters responded to the house fire in the 9600 block of N Seminole Drive on Tuesday morning.

    >>