12 people were tragically killed when a gunman opened fire in a crowded bar in Thousand Oaks, California.
The shooting happened at the Borderline Bar & Grill, a popular country music bar with college students.
Ventura County Sheriff Sergeant Ron Helus was one of the first to respond to the shooting. He and a California Highway Patrol officer ran into the bar where Helus was shot. Fellow officers are calling him a hero.
An emotional Sheriff Geoff Dean talked about his friend.
“He knew the risks, but he knew, like we all do, why we serve,” Dean said. “Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff's sergeant. He was totally committed. He gave his all. And tonight ... he died a hero. He went in to save lives, to save other people.”
California Governor Jerry Brown released a statement on the shooting.
“Our hearts ache today for the victims of this heinous act and our deepest condolences are with the Thousand Oaks community and those who lost friends and loved ones. “We are grateful for law enforcement and others, including Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, who took heroic action to save lives last night.”
Profiles of other victims have been published in the Ventura County Star.
Justin Meek, 23, was a recent California Lutheran University graduate. University President Chris Kimball said that Meek “heroically saved lives” during the tragedy.
Cody Coffman, 22, was head umpire for a baseball league and was looking to join the Army. His father, Jason Coffman said, “There are so many people that he touched and now they are going to be just as heartbroken as I am.”
Alaina Housley, 18, was a student at Pepperdine University. She was an honors student in high school and played soccer and tennis. Housley was the niece of actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and journalist Adam Housley. The couple talked to the Hollywood Reporter about the tragic death of their niece.
"Our hearts are broken." "We just learned that our niece Alaina was one of the victims of last night’s shooting at Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks. 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. We thank everyone for your prayers and ask for privacy at this time."
Noel Sparks, 21, was majoring in art at Moorpark College. Her aunt, Patricia Sparks, said that Noel was an "all-around good girl. She was the kind of girl that if you had friends, you'd want them to marry her."
Telemachus “Tel” Orfanos, 27, had survived the Las Vegas shooting and had helped paramedics treat victims during that tragedy. He had served in the Navy and sometimes worked as a doorman at Borderline Bar but was not working in that capacity the night of the shooting.
Sean Adler, 48, was a bouncer at Borderline Bar & Grill. He was a strength coach at Royal High School and owner of Rivalry Roasters coffee shop.
Dan Manrique, 33, was a Marine veteran. He was a member of Team Red White & Blue, a veterans organization. "Dan's life was dedicated to serving others, during his military career and beyond," said John Pinter, executive director of Team Red, White & Blue.
Blake Dingham was 21. His brother Aidan posted on Instagram, "Blake, I love you so much and I miss you more than you can imagine."
Mark Meza, Jr., 20, Jacob Dunham, 21, and Kristina Morisette, 20, also died in the tragedy.
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More coverage from the Ventura County Star.