The lawman killed in the Thousand Oaks shooting spree was a granduate of the University Oklahoma. The deputy graduated from OU's Extended Campus Program in 2019
Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran nearing retirement, was the first law enforcement officer into the bar. He'd been chatting on the phone with his wife when he got a report of trouble.
He ran into the bar and was shot multiple times in an exchange of gunfire, said Sheriff Geoff Dean, who added that the confrontation gave innocent bystanders time to escape.
"Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff's sergeant who was totally committed," Dean said of the man who was also his longtime friend and gym partner.
"And tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero," added the sheriff, choking back tears.
The California Highway Patrol officer who followed Helus into the building dragged him back out. Helus was taken to a hospital where he died Thursday morning.