Sheriff’s Sgt. set to retire soon killed in California bar shooting

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Sgt. Ron Helus had been set to retire in the next year from the Ventura County, California Sheriff's Office when, responding late Wednesday to a call of a shooting, he entered the Borderline Bar & Grill.

Sgt. Ron Helus was killed responding to a shooting at a Thousand Oaks, Calif. bar Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018.

It would be the last act of a 29-year law enforcement veteran described as hardworking and dedicated and, now, as a hero.

Helus was among the first officers through the door at the Borderline. He died trying to stop the rampaging gunman, who killed 11 others in the attack in Thousand Oaks, California.

Sgt. Ron Helus was killed responding to a shooting at a Thousand Oaks, Calif. bar Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018.

"He went into save lives, to save other people." Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said of Helus, his voice breaking.

"He was totally committed, he gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero," he said.

Helus succumbed to his wounds at a hospital, police said. He is also survived by a son.

"It's so tragic losing Ron," Dean said. "We go to the gym together, work out together. it's horrific and terrible and it saddens our hearts."

Sgt. Ron Helus was killed responding to a shooting at a Thousand Oaks, Calif. bar Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018.

Images from the tragic scene:

TOPSHOT - Police officers are seen at the intersection of US 101 freeway and the Moorpark Rad exit as police vehicles close off the area responding to a shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California on November 8, 2018. - Twelve people, including a police sergeant, were shot dead in a shooting at a nighttclub close to Los Angeles, police said Thursday. All the victims were killed inside the bar in the suburb of Thousand Oaks late on Wednesday, including the officer who had been called to the scene, Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters. The gunman was also dead at the scene, Dean added. The bar was hosting a college country music night. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean briefs reporters at the intersection of US 101 freeway and the Moorpark Rad exit as police vehicles close off the area responding to a shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California on November 8, 2018. - Twelve people, including a police sergeant, were shot dead in a shooting at a nighttclub close to Los Angeles, police said Thursday. All the victims were killed inside the bar in the suburb of Thousand Oaks late on Wednesday, including the officer who had been called to the scene, Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters. The gunman was also dead at the scene, Dean added. The bar was hosting a college country music night. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

TOPSHOT - People stand and watch as the scene unfurls from the intersection of US 101 freeway and the Moorpark Rad exit as police vehicles close off the area outside a country music bar and dance hall in Thousand Oaks, west of Los Angeles, where a gunman opened fire late November 7, 2018, killing at least 12 people, US police said. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

The inside of the Borderline Bar and Grill is seen after the shooting as police closed off the area in Thousand Oaks, California on November 8, 2018. - Twelve people, including a police sergeant, were shot dead in a shooting at a night club close to Los Angeles, police said Thursday. All the victims were killed inside the bar in the suburb of Thousand Oaks late on Wednesday, including the officer who had been called to the scene, Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters. The gunman was also dead at the scene, Dean added. The bar was hosting a college country music night. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

People gather as close as they can to the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California on November 8, 2018 as police vehicles closed off the area responding to a shooting. - Twelve people, including a police sergeant, were shot dead in a shooting at a night club close to Los Angeles, police said Thursday. All the victims were killed inside the bar in the suburb of Thousand Oaks late on Wednesday, including the officer who had been called to the scene, Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters. The gunman was also dead at the scene, Dean added. The bar was hosting a college country music night. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

A witness talks to reporters outside a country music bar and dance hall in Thousand Oaks, west of Los Angeles, after a gunman barged into a large, crowded venue and opened fire late November 07, 2018, killing at least 11 people including a police officer, US police said. (Photo by Javier TOVAR / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAVIER TOVAR/AFP/Getty Images)