California Bar Shooting: 12 Killed, Including Officer, After Gun - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Thousand Oaks Bar Shooting: 12 Killed, Including Sheriff's Sergeant, After Gunman Opens Fire

Posted: Updated:

Twelve people were killed, including a sheriff's sergeant, after a gunman opened fire at a Thousand Oaks, California, bar Wednesday officials said. 

Ventura County Sgt. Ron Helus died responding to the incident at Borderline Bar & Grill, Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters. A 29-year veteran of the force, he had been looking to retire in the "next year or so," Dean said.

"Ron was a hardworking dedicated sheriff's sergeant," he added, his voice cracking with emotion. "He was totally committed, he gave his all and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero; he went into save lives, to save other people."

The suspect forced his way into the bar known for its country, swing and salsa dancing nights late Wednesday. Witnesses said he tossed smoke grenades and then opened fire on the crowd, according to ABC News.

"The gunman was throwing smoke grenades all over the place," a witness told local station KABC. "I saw him point to the back of the cash register ... and he just kept firing. I ran out the front door."

Cole, another witness, told local station KCBS he and other patrons used a pool table to shield themselves from the rain of gunfire. 

"I tried to get as many people behind cover," he said. Then, he directed people out a door leading to a patio for smokers. "I told everyone to get out of there and I followed out after."

When the gunman entered the bar, Cole said he saw him out of the corner of his eye, but didn't notice anything in particular. "The first shot went off, I thought it was somebody playing a prank, but immediately I looked at him and he continued shooting," he said. 

Tim Dominguez was at the bar with his son. After the gunfire erupted, the two fled out the door, running to their car, Dominguez told CBS News. As he ran, Dominguez said he noticed an officer pulling up and charging into the bar, toward the gunfire. 

"I believe that’s the [sheriff's sergeant] that lost his life," Dominguez said. "I want to say I am so sorry for his family.  He was a brave man to come into the shots because it was a scary situation for everyone, it really was."

The bar is close to California Lutheran University, and is popular among students at that school.

Authorities said early Thursday that they were still working to determine a motive in the shooting. The gunman, who has not been identified, was found dead inside the bar.

Further details were not immediately available.

RELATED STORIES

Hero Rushed at Yoga Studio Gunman, Saving Lives, State Rep. Says

Cincinnati Bank Shooting Victim Recalls Playing Dead After Being Shot 12 Times

Pittsburgh Penguins Pay Tribute to Victims of Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting With Star of David Patch

  • Inside EditionMore>>

  • Canadian Boy With Cerebral Palsy Bullied on Video: 'They Were All Laughing,' Mom Says

    Canadian Boy With Cerebral Palsy Bullied on Video: 'They Were All Laughing,' Mom Says

    Monday, November 12 2018 6:38 PM EST2018-11-12 23:38:30 GMT
    By Deborah Hastings A Canadian boy with cerebral palsy says he was bullied into lying in a cold stream so students could step on him. Videos of his humiliation were shared on social media, where they quickly went viral, said the boy's mother, Terri McEachern. In the footage, teenagers can be heard laughing and calling 14-year-old Brett Corbett a "f***ing little b****." Police and school officials are investigating the incident, which occurred last week outside Glace Bay High School... 
    A Canadian boy with cerebral palsy says he was bullied into lying in a cold stream so students could step on him. 
  • Today on Inside Edition: Families Escape California Wildfires; Celebrities Lose Their Homes

    Today on Inside Edition: Families Escape California Wildfires; Celebrities Lose Their Homes

    Monday, November 12 2018 5:18 PM EST2018-11-12 22:18:02 GMT
    By Inside Edition Staff Deadly, fast-moving wildfires raging across California have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee from their homes. Harrowing video shows a crying mother and daughter trying to escape in their car as flames lick at the side of the road. Thankfully they managed to escape to safety, and Inside Edition spoke to them about the terrifying ordeal. Celebrities are among those to lose their homes to fire in Southern California, including Gerard Butler and M... 
    Deadly, fast-moving wildfires raging across California have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee from their homes. 
  • Gas Company Offers Free Thanksgiving Dinner to Residents Affected by Massachusetts Gas Explosions

    Gas Company Offers Free Thanksgiving Dinner to Residents Affected by Massachusetts Gas Explosions

    Monday, November 12 2018 4:58 PM EST2018-11-12 21:58:03 GMT
    By JOHANNA LI The gas company blamed for causing 30,000 people to evacuate their homes in Massachusetts will make sure everyone gets a holiday meal this Thanksgiving. Columbia Gas announced that residents affected by the Merrimack Valley gas explosions in September could reserve their free Thanksgiving dinner on their website. “You deserve to be in your home for Thanksgiving and we understand that our ongoing restoration work is preventing that. Columbia Gas is offering Thanksgivin... 
    The gas company blamed for causing 30,000 people to evacuate their homes in Massachusetts will make sure everyone gets a holiday meal this Thanksgiving. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.