Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Gunman kills 12 at crowded country and western bar in California

Gunman kills 12 at crowded country and western bar in California

Ventura County Sheriff's Deputies responded to reports of shots fired at Borderline Bar and Grill, located at 99 Rolling Oaks Drive, around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday. Helus died later at Los Robles Regional Medical Center.

Dozens of people, including one officer, have reportedly been injured in a bar shooting in Thousand Oaks, California. The police officer who was shot and killed was identified as Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, who was labelled a "hero" for attempting to stop the incident.

Ventura County sheriff's Captain Garo Kuredjian said hundreds of people were inside the bar and shots were still being fired when deputies arrived.

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

"They called out our crisis intervention team, our mental health specialists who met with him, talked to him and cleared him", the sheriff said. "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". Eyewitnesses said people used chairs to break the windows and escape.

Wednesday nights at the Borderline Bar & Grill are for country music and line-dancing lessons. "Alaina was an incredible young woman with so much life ahead of her and we are devastated that her life was cut short in this manner".

He said he has no doubt Helus' tactics at the scene "were sound when he went in".

Thousand Oaks is about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles and It's considered one of the safest large cities in the country, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation crime statistics, USA Today reported.

"I just started hearing these big pops - pop, pop, pop".

"We knew he was going there, to know he may not come home is another thing", Jason Coffman told the station. They found 12 people dead inside, including the gunman, who was discovered in office and had apparently shot himself, the sheriff said.

Pepperdine University confirmed several students were at the bar during the shooting.

Cole Knapp, a freshman at Moorpark, said he was inside the bar when the shooting began, but thought at first that it was "just someone with an M-80, just kind of playing a prank".

Kuredjian and others described Thousand Oaks as a usually placid place. I saw him point to the back of the cash register, and he just kept firing.

"It was really, really, really shocking", she told KABC-TV as she stood with her father in the Borderline vehicle park. Dean says Helus was his longtime friend and gym partner and planned to retire soon after 29 years with the force.

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