'Horrific Scene': 13 Dead Including Gunman at California Bar

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Ron Helus, a Ventura County sheriff's sergeant, was killed in a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks late Wednesday night.

The sheriff's deputy who died was identified as Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year-veteran of the department, Dean said. California Highway Patrol was on scene within 3 minutes, with first officer to enter shot numerous times.

At a press conference, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said that Helus died as "a hero".

'He was totally committed, he gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero.' 'It's so tragic losing Ron.

Dean said about 15 others had injuries considered non-life-threatening, including cuts that came from jumping out of a window or diving under a table, the sheriff said.

Chandler Gunn, 23, told the San Diego Tribune that when he heard about the shooting he rushed to the bar and called a friend who works at Borderline, who like numerous bar's regular patrons was also at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas when a gunman killed 58 people and wounded hundreds.

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A team of student journalists was among those delivering live coverage from the scene of a deadly mass shooting at a Southern California bar where some of their fellow students were partying as the horrific attack unfolded.

Authorities are investigating reports that the gunman used a smoke bomb but said they had not found anything to support this.

The Borderline Bar & Grill lists a "College Country Night" which takes place on Wednesdays, and is said to be popular with students.

UPDATE A police officer was among 13 dead, including the gunman, at a shooting in a bar in Thousand Oaks, California.

"He didn't say anything, at least not that we could hear", Estron added. Law enforcement and emergency crews flooded the scene and police urged the public to avoid the area.

"We do not know how many rounds were in the weapon", he said.

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Knapp said he tried to help other people in the bar take cover, then headed for the bar's patio and jumped over a fence to safety.

Sgt. Eric Buschow, of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, said that "multiple fatalities" had been confirmed.

In the last two weeks alone, a man shot dead two people yoga studio in Florida, and another gunman opened fire on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11.

Nick Steinwender, student body president at nearby California Lutheran University, rushed to the scene when he heard about a shooting at the bar where he knew friends and fellow students were inside. When he went inside the building Helus "was struck multiple times with gunfire", Dean said.

Its website listed Wednesday's event as college country night between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.

"This is a very close-knit community", Kuredjian said, adding that Thousand Oaks - north and west of Los Angeles - is a "pro-law-enforcement community" as well.

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