Heroic California cop who died in bar shooting is mourned

Sheriff's deputies knew him as a cop's cop, one who would "go to the ends of the earth" to solve a crime. To family and friends, Ron Helus was a devoted husband and father who loved to go fly fishing with his son.

Today, Helus will be hailed as a hero — a man who courageously sacrificed his own life to save others' when he raced into a Thousand Oaks bar crackling with gunfire and immediately engaged the shooter in a firefight.

The act would take Helus' life when he was struck by several bullets, but it would also allow others a few precious moments to escape. In all, 13 people died, including the gunman, who killed himself.

Helus' funeral was scheduled for noon at the Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, followed by burial at a nearby cemetery. Gov. Brown was among those expected to attend.

A funeral was held last night in Camarillo for another of the victims, 22-year-old Cody Gifford-Coffman, who was shot as he warned others to flee. He was remembered warmly as a man with a goofy sense of humor who loved fishing and baseball.

Dawn Kamber