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Sheriff's Sergeant Who Died As A Result Of Borderline Bar And Grill Attack Receives Posthumous Congressional Honor

(KCLU photo)
Democratic Congresswoman Julia Brownley of Westlake Village (right) hugs Karen Helus, as she presents the Congressional Badge of Bravery award to her and her son Jordan to honor Sheriff's Sergeant Ron Helus. He was fatally wounded during the Borderline Bar and Grill attack.

Actions By Sergeant Ron Helus credited with keeping death toll from being even higher

It was a day of mixed emotions in Ventura County. A Sheriff’s sergeant who gave his life to save the live of others during the 2018 Borderline Bar and Grill attack received one of Congress’s highest honors.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus was posthumously awarded the Congressional Badge of Bravery in a Thousand Oaks ceremony Tuesday.

It was an event filled with tributes to Helus, who charged into the bar, an act which led to the gunman killing himself before others died.

Thousand Oaks City Councilwoman Claudia Bill de la Pena says in his effort to save lives, he walked straight into the danger.

Karen Helus is Ron Helus’ widow. She says he made a selfless choice, and she knows if given the choice, he would do it again.

Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub says Helus was not only an exceptional law enforcement officer, but also an exceptional husband, and father.

12 people died as a result of the attack, including Helus. But, about 250 others escaped to safety.

Helus is the 105th person to be honored with the Congressional Badge of Bravery. It’s awarded to local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who go beyond the call of duty.

Democratic Congresswoman Julia Brownley of Westlake Village, who presented the award to the family, says the attack broke the heart of the community. But, she says it was that same community which came together to support those dealing with the loss and trauma, and to open the door to healing.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.