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'Hero' police officer killed in California bar massacre

'Hero' police officer killed in California bar massacre

"We just learned that our niece Alaina was one of the victims of last night's shooting at the Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks", Mowry-Housley said in a statement.

Reports say the suspect may have used smoke grenades and at least one weapon, described as a semi-automatic handgun by witnesses.

The officer who was killed in Thousand Oaks told his wife he loved her before running in to confront the gunman at the Borderline Bar and Grill Wednesday night.

The dead included 11 people inside the bar and a veteran sheriff's sergeant who was the first officer inside the door, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said. He died in an area hospital Thursday morning. It was not immediately clear how the gunman died, Dean said. "As you know, these are ongoing investigations and that information will come out as soon as we are able to determine exactly who the suspect was and what motive he might have had for this horrific event".

Further, the officer says a highway patrolman pulled out Helus and waited for a SWAT team as scores of other officers converged on the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks at about 11:20 p.m. Police said hundreds were inside when the shooting occurred.

The massacre was the deadliest mass shooting in the USA since 17 students and teachers were slain at a Parkland, Florida, high school nine months ago. The gunman died inside the bar, police said.

It was "college night" at the bar, and many students were there to learn the country two-step.

A witness told KABC-TV that there were many young people "having a great time" in the bar when a man entered and "started shooting".

Police told the Los Angeles Times that at least 30 shots were fired.




Ron Helus, who had worked in law enforcement for 29 years, had planned to retire in the coming year, Dean said, noting that the two were friends who often worked out together. "It's still very fluid, and I hope to give you guys updates in terms of both the number and the status of the shooter".

The gunman entered the California bar dressed in black and armed with a Glock 21.45-caliber handgun, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"There were people hiding in restrooms, people hiding in attics", Dean said.

The 22-year-old went to Borderline Bar & Grill every Wednesday to line dance, his dad said.

"Within a split second, everybody yelled "get down", she said.

"We are consistently ranked one of the highest with respect to the lowest crime rate per capita, we're proud of that", Fox said.

Nick Steinwender, who is part of the university's student government, said his friends were inside the bar when the shooting started.

There was no screaming, she said - just gunfire and stampeding crowds.

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