Friday, 14 Dec 2018

An officer killed in California. Mass shootings shot by friendly fire, police say

Jason Coffman, father of Cody Coffman, victim of the shooting at Thousand Oaks, kneels on the eve of his son. (Barbara Davidson / Getty Images) A ​​veteran police officer was shot dead while he was rushing to face a mass shooter in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Last month was fatally hit by friendly fire rather only by bullets fired by the shooter, announced Friday the authorities. The sad revelation, released a month after the November 7 massacre at the Borderline Bar and Grill, adds a tragic element to what witnesses and authorities have described as a chaotic and terrifying scene on the country music site. When the gunshots stopped, a dozen people were fatally injured, including the Sheriff of Ventura County. Sgt. Ron Helus, 54 – and the gunman was shot in the head with one shot. Police identified the attacker as Ian David Long, 28, who had a history of angry behavior, and said he was still investigating what could have motivated the rampage. [Investigators still seeking motive for the Thousand Oaks shooting] Helus responded to reports of the shooting by heading with an officer of the California Highway Patrol in "what can only be described as a combat situation," said Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub. from a briefing on Friday. Ayub said that after the customers and employees of Long Shot Bar waited, he waited for the police to respond, then "almost immediately" began shooting at them. "Sgt. Helus was hit five times by the suspect, Ayub said. "Today, I am deeply saddened to inform you that Sgt. Helus was also hit by a sixth ball, which we know now. . . was fired with the rifle from the CHP officer. "This sixth ball was fatal," Ayub said at the press conference, Christopher Young, Ventura County Chief Medical Examiner, said the shooter's bullets hit Helus and "caused serious injuries, but potentially life-threatening wounds. "But the policeman's bullet hit the chest and heart of Helus, said Young." This is sad news and a tragedy, but it's finally the injury the more serious that has been suffered, "said Young. [They survived Las Vegas. Then came a second mass shooting in Thousand Oaks] The policeman of the road has not been identified; the agency described him as a nine-year veteran of this force who is currently not on duty. "He is devastated," said L.D. Maples, chief of the coastal division of the highway patrol. The explanation of Helus' death is indicative of the frenzied, dangerous and often unclear situations facing law enforcement officials at active shooting sites. Officers who responded to such attacks across the country then described the terror and confusion they encountered, sometimes not knowing how many attackers opened fire or entered rooms without knowing if a shooter was ready to shoot behind the door. This confusion can also lead to fatal errors for law enforcement officers trying to help. Detective Jacai Colson of Prince George was responding to an attack on a police station in 2016 when another officer, taking Colson for a threat, shot him. [Las Vegas police who responded to shooting rampage: ‘We were in disbelief’] In Thousand Oaks, Ayub said that Helus "was clearly not the target" of the shot that killed him. While Mr. Ayub said that some facets of this shot were still under investigation, he noted that the scene inside the bar was dark, smoky of smoke and was unfolding quickly. "It's a tragic detail that I think was not avoidable," he said. Police said Long shot more than 50 shots of a .45 caliber Glock gun during his attack inside Borderline. He threw smoke grenades that fueled the confusion inside, authorities said, sending people fleeing the carnage jump out the windows or take refuge in the attic bar. Young, the medical examiner, said he had no evidence to suggest that other officers would have hit or killed victims. The sheriff said he was responsible for the death of Helus – as well as other deaths and injuries resulting from the massacre – only with the attacker, whom Ayub did not name at his briefing. "He is the only one to have created the violence and he is the one responsible for his actions," Ayub said. "He went there with a plan and a goal: to take innocent lives. The burden lies solely on him, not on those who tried to save lives, on those who tried to escape, and certainly not on those who died simply wanting to enjoy an evening with friends . ".

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