LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Thousands of miles away from home, two detectives with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office received life-changing news. Their community, ranked one of the safest in the nation, was ripped by gun violence during a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California.
Sergeant Ron Helus, also a member of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, was one of the 12 victims--with plans to retire in the next year. Two detectives in Louisville for a conference said Helus had been a friend for decades.
“Regardless if Ron was less than a year from retiring, he knew he still had to stand between what’s right and wrong,” Joe Preciado said.
Preciado said Helus leaves behind a wife and a son.
Preciado, along with Detective Eric Arteaga, received early morning phone calls with details of the shooting.
“We see everybody we know on TV doing something, and that is what we are used to doing, helping out. And just watching--it feels weird,” Eric Arteaga said.
Arteaga said Helus arrived quickly at the nightclub and ran into the space where bullets where flying.
“It’s totally his character and he always understood that we always have to do things above and beyond what other people want to do. And sadly enough, today way his day,” Preciado said.
The detectives said that not only did Sergeant Ron Helus’s wife and son lose an essential part of their family--so did law enforcement.
“He always had a good attitude, good spirit, and very approachable,” Arteaga said.
“When you bring all these different entities together we truly are as a family and we are a team and everyone is affected,” Preciado said.
There were others at the conference who had personally experienced gun violence in Florida and Texas. The detectives said Ventura County won’t be the last.
“I don’t ever want to go through this ever again, but I am sure it will happen again, unfortunately,” Arteaga said.
The detectives were not able to say anything regarding a motive for the violence. But they asked that everyone remember all of the people killed in the shooting.