Sergeant Ron Helus, of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, is laid to rest today. Helus ran fearlessly into the line of fire at the Borderline bar and may have gotten some shots into the suspect. It is virtually certain, after reviewing the radio traffic, that Helus' and the CHP officer's entry hastened the decision of the killer to commit suicide. Studies have shown that police response often causes spree killers to take this route when authorities arrive or armed resistance is put up.
Unlike the cowardly Scot Peterson of crooked Broward County, Helus did not hide outside and wait for someone else to go in. This is the way an active shooter should be dealt with. Helus gave his life in an act of conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity that surely saved many more. We also cannot forget the men that shielded women with their bodies and the off-duty officers who provided assistance.
Thousand Oaks and the surrounding communities have been dealt a devastating blow from the killings and the brushfires that erupted the same day. Deputies have been overwhelmed working 24 hour shifts, unable to stop and cope emotionally with the twin disasters. Today, Ventura County, a grateful community, and mourners from around the world remember his sacrifice. To all those who go armed to protect themselves and others, this man is a hero who practiced what he preached.
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