Gunman shoots 11 at California bar

Sergeant Ron Helus

Image Sergeant Ron Helus was one of 12 people who died in the latest mass shooting in the US

A memorial service is scheduled Thursday for a Ventura County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Ron Helus, who died while responding to Wednesday mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, authorities announced Saturday.

Dani Merrill, who escaped from the Borderline bar when the shooting began, had also attended the 2017 Las Vegas country music festival where a gunman in a high-rise hotel opened fire and killed 58 people.

A few seconds passed.

Rachel Kelly, who grew up near Thousand Oaks in Hidden Hills, said her family was forced to evacuate their home early November 9.

"When I told her (his wife) that we had lost her hero, I said to her: 'Because of Ron, many lives were saved, '" Dean said.

More time ticked by.

By the time they entered the bar again, the gunfire had stopped, according to the sheriff.

Dean announced the deaths of 11 people in the news conference.

There were several young women who tearfully recounted being pulled down, thrown under tables, and through windows to get them out of the line of fire. "We haven't found any correlation", the sheriff said. "He went in to save lives, to save other people". He was totally committed, he gave his all.

Jasmin Alexander, who was part of a group of around 15 friends at the bar, said there was chaos and confusion inside when shots first rang out.

A vigil was planned for 6 p.m.at the Thousand Oaks Civic Center, said Thousand Oaks Mayor Andrew Fox, who announced a website for people to send donations to assist the victims: www.VCCF.org.

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US President Donald Trump posted on Twitter that he had been briefed on the shooting. It felt like the "world (was) falling apart" since her family was still recovering from the news of the shooting when they learned they had to evacuate. All morning, people looking for missing friends and relatives arrived at a community center where authorities and counselors were informing the next-of-kin of those who died. On some backcountry trips, he would see more bald eagles and deer than people, he said on Facebook.

"He took two to three steps in, and his stance and the way that he was aiming at everyone was very uniform and you could tell he had training", Anderson said. He described an incident - which seems to match the April episode mentioned by the sheriff - in which he called law enforcement to Long's house because it "sounded like he was tearing down the walls of the house, like somebody's just beating on the walls with a big hammer or something". Before then, officers and first responders secured a perimeter and waited. "They talked to him", Dean said.

"I pushed him off me and I said, 'Stop!"

A next-door neighbor said he called authorities about six months ago when he heard loud banging and shouting come from Long's ranch-style home.

Authorities have yet to determine a motive and are exploring all possibilities.

A former roommate said that Long was quiet and prone to unusual behavior - like dancing alone in his garage to "trance" music, a kind of electronic dance music.

Dominique Colell says she had run-ins with then-sprinter Ian David Long that convinced her that he was "mentally disturbed" and had "anger issues" before he left to join the U.S. Marine Corps.

In addition to the dead, Mr Dean estimated that there were around 10-12 victims, who were "rescued from the scene and taken to local hospitals". "He looked like he knew what he was doing, he had practiced". Additional victims with minor injuries fled the scene on their own, he added.

Dean was set to retire Friday. A procession from Thousand Oaks to Ventura saw thousands gathering along freeway bridges and the 101 Freeway as Hulus was transported to the Ventura County Medical Examiner's office early Thursday morning.

"It's so tragic losing Ron", Dean said.

"We would go to Borderline together. It's horrific and awful and it saddens our hearts".

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