Sergeant Ron Helus was one of the first responders to the shooting at a country bar in Thousand Oaks, California, on Wednesday night (Nov. 7). Today the veteran sheriff is remembered as a family man and hero.

Sgt. Helus died trying to stop the rampage, CNN reports. A gunman burst through the doors and threw smoke grenades before opening fire at the Borderline Bar & Grill. Twelve were killed and 10 more injured by gunfire during a scene that is being described as absolute chaos.

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean confirmed Helus' identity.

"He went into save lives, to save other people," Dean said. "He was totally committed, he gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero."

The L.A. Times reports that before entering the bar, Helus called his family. He's survived by his wife and son.

John Rich and Charlie Daniels were two artists to quickly recognize his act of bravery on Twitter. Rich in particular is an outspoken defender of police and first responders. "Join me in asking the Holy Spirit to pull those families close this morning," he tweeted.

Thus far, none of the other victims or the shooter have been identified. Dean said the shooter was dead when officers made entry. He did not clarify to explain if he meant first responders, or the teams that followed.

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