First responder to the California shooting was killed in the same bar where he had proposed to his wife 30 years ago
Over 30 years ago, Ron Helus, was dining in the same restaurant with his then-girlfriend Karen when he proposed to her with a ring he had hidden in her purse.
The 54-year-old first responder, who was killed during the mass shooting at the California bar in Thousand Oaks along with 11 other people, had reportedly proposed to his then-girlfriend at the same restaurant where he died. Over 30 years ago, Ron Helus, was dining at the particular restaurant with Karen when she stepped away to go to the bathroom and was surprised to find a blue box with an engagement ring tucked inside her purse.
When she returned to the table and showed it to Helus, he got down on one knee and proposed to her. Helus, a sergeant with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, was killed on November 7, 2018 at the Borderline Bar & Grill, the same restaurant.
According to authorities, Helus was shot multiple times as he entered the bar and later succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. He is survived by his wife and their son, Jordan, according to PEOPLE.
"He entered the nightclub with no other purpose than to defend the defenseless and to save their lives. And lives he did save."— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) November 16, 2018
Sgt. Ron Helus was killed as he confronted the gunman of the Borderline rampage. He was laid to rest on Thursday -- a hero. https://t.co/3uEwo7OxF1 pic.twitter.com/7V4E5K2lE3
Sheriff Geoff Dean, while talking to reporters at the time, said: "He went in to save lives, to save other people. He was totally committed, he gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero.”
Helus' funeral at the Calvary Community Church on Thursday was attended by thousands of people who swarmed the venue to pay tribute to a man they call a hero. Helus' wife, Karen, in a statement at the funeral, said: "Thank you for sharing the last 31 years of your life with me. Thank you for being you — my hero, my love and my life.”
Reports state that musician Billy Ray Cyrus also attended the event and sang “Amazing Grace” and the original song “Some Gave All.” “Today, we’re here to honor Ron Helus,” the singer said. “This man is a true definition of a hero.”
“Their official first date was on this date, today 31 years ago. Nov. 15, 1987. Isn’t that wild?” Pastor Steve Day said during his eulogy.— Mental Ammo (@MentalAmmo) November 16, 2018
Helus was reportedly the first law enforcement personnel at the scene of the mass shooting and was on the phone with his wife before responding to the call. "I love you, I'll talk to you later," he reportedly told his wife, according to the sheriff.
Thousand Oaks Police Chief Tim Hagel, while talking to the news outlet, said: “He was telling officers how to survive, he’s the most tactical sergeant that I’ve ever met in 34 years,” Hagel told People. “That’s all he did — his whole drive was to get his deputies home every shift, every night. He probably told me that 400 times over the last 20 years. That was his drive. That was Ron’s calling: to protect the community.”