Sgt. Ron Helus was killed in the line of duty as he went in to save lives at the Ventura County shooting. (Credit: Instagram)
Rob Lowe is paying tribute to a member of his Ventura community, Sergeant Ron Helus, who died on Wednesday night in a shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., which left 13 people dead in total.
On Wednesday night, a gunman dressed in black opened fire during a student night at a country dance bar outside of Los Angeles and killed Helus and 11 other victims. The shooter, who was said to be firing at random, is also dead. During a press briefing early Thursday morning, Sheriff Geoff Dean of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office said that Sergeant Helus was among the first law enforcement to arrive on the scene, and he was struck multiple times by gunfire. He died at the hospital Thursday morning.
Lowe, who has lived in Ventura County over the years, took to Instagram to pay his respects to the slain officer.
"This is what a hero looks like. My respect, gratitude and deep condolences to the family of Sgt. Ron Helus of the Ventura sheriffs dept. He was killed charging into a blaze of gunfire to save many young lives. He was set to retire in a few months after 29 years of service. May God bless him," Lowe wrote alongside a photo.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean also revealed that Helus was a 29-year veteran of the department and was looking to retire "in the next year or so."
Helus was survived by his wife and son. "Ron was a hardworking dedicated sheriff’s sergeant," said Dean, while he held back tears. "He was totally committed. He gave his all. Tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero because he went in to save lives, to save other people."