‘I’ll talk to you later’: Police officer killed in Thousand Oaks mass shooting called wife just before rushing into Borderline Bar and Grill

Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Ron Helus, among 13 people killed in a shooting Wednesday night at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, spoke briefly to his wife by phone moments before rushing into the establishment to confront the gunman.

According to Time magazine, Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters Thursday that Helus told his wife, “I’ve got to go handle a call. I love you. I’ll talk to you later.”

Helus arrived at the Borderline, a popular country-western night spot, with two minutes of the first 911 call, and rushed inside where shots were ringing out, Time reported.

“He gave his all. Tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero. He went in to save lives, to save other people,” the sheriff said during a televised news conference.

Time also reported that Dean said Helus was “totally committed” and planned to retire next year after nearly 30 years with the Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Buschow described Helus to CNN as “true cop’s cop”. “I don’t think there’s anything more heroic than what he did,” Buschow told the network.

Helus had worked as a narcotics investigator and had been a member of the Sheriff’s Department’s SWAT team, CNN reported.

“This was in his blood. He had just a natural instinct for going after crooks, and he did it with enthusiasm, with a great deal of intelligence,” Buschow said.

in addition to his wife, Helus is survived by a son with whom he enjoyed going fishing, according to CNN

“My heart goes out to his family — I can’t imagine what they’re going through right now,” Buschow told the network.