It has been revealed that Stg. Ron Helus, one of the first police officers to respond to the Thousand Oaks mass shooting, was killed by friendly fire.
Helus, who was laid to rest on November 15, 2018, was shot five times upon entering the Borderline Bar & Grill on November 7 but a sixth bullet, fired by a CHP officer, was the fatal one.
The news was shared by Sheriff Bill Ayub, from the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, during a news conference on Friday.
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A SHOCKING TURN OF EVENTS
According to Sheriff Ayub, Helus was shot in the chest by a rifle from a California Highway Patrol officer, who walked into the establishment with the late 54-year-old.
The identity of the second officer is yet to be revealed but it is known that he was already informed of the details surrounding Helus' death.
THE CHP OFFICER IS CURRENTLY ON LEAVE
Sheriff Ayub claimed that the 'bullet struck vital organs and was fatal,' a discovery made by the FBI's crime laboratory. Now, investigators will need to determine exactly how Helus was struck.
In this situation, the friendly fire could have been accidental, a miss-sighting or a case of mistaken identity since the two officers were immediately shot at as soon as they walked through the doors.
Although the identity of the officer hasn't been publicly shared, CHP Coastal Division Chief L.D. Maples described him as a 'consummate professional.' It was also added that the officer was 'devastated' upon learning that he was responsible for Helus' death.
"The bullet struck vital organs and was fatal."
A DESPERATE APPEAL FOR GUN CONTROL
But the brave officer wasn't the only one who perished that night; Telemachus Orfanos, a survivor of the Las Vegas country music shooting from 2017, was also killed.
Following the tragedy, his heartbroken mother refused to receive any more thoughts and prayers, claiming that she wanted gun control instead, in order to avoid the death of more innocent people.