VENTURA, Calif. - Thursday marks one year since the Thousand Oaks mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill.
On Wednesday, a special ceremony took place for Sergeant Ron Helus who was one of the 12 people killed.
Ventura County Sheriff's Department presented a portion of Highway 101 that is now named after him; a highway sign dedicated to a fallen hero.
“I am proud of Ron,” said Rosalio Cobian, who worked alongside Sergeant Helus. “I am proud of what he did for this community, and the sacrifices that he made.”
Sergeant Ronald Lee Helus was one of the first officers to enter the Borderline Bar and Grill the night of November 7, 2018. A gunman opened fire at the popular bar and 12 innocent people were killed, including Sergeant Helus who was killed by friendly fire.
“It could have been any one of us and it was Ron that responded that night,” said Cobian. “Ron is the one who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The ultimate sacrifice has not been forgotten. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, along with other local agencies, worked together to dedicate the highway sign to the man who dedicated his life to protecting his community for 29 years.
The memorial sign can be seen off Highway 101 after Lynn Road in Thousand Oaks. The highway sign will now read “Sergeant Ronald Lee Helus Memorial Highway.”
“It is beautiful,” said Karen Helus, Ron's wife. “It is just so honorary to him. The sacrifice, and his legacy. I am so humbled, and I know he’s smiling.”
Karen Helus and their son say the sign means everything to them.
“It just helps us never forget him, not that we ever would, but we can not every forget him now because every time we drive by we are going to see his name and that is so special,” said Karen Helus.
Helus says Borderline isn’t just the place where her husband died, but it was also the place were he proposed, and they had their wedding reception back in 1989.
“It was called Charley Brown's at the time, but it was the same building,” said Helus. “So when I had walked into Borderline in February that is what came into my mind more than what happened there that night last year. It was the joy that we experienced together there.”