Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean briefs reporters at the intersection of US 101 freeway and the Moorpark Rad exit as police vehicles close off the area responding to a shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Twelve victims, including a sheriff's deputy, were killed when a gunman opened fire in a college bar in Thousand Oaks, California overnight. Former Boston Police Commissioner and WBZ-TV security analyst Ed Davis discussed the police response to the mass shooting at a college bar in Thousand Oaks, California with WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Josh Binswanger Thursday morning, and he praised the deputy who rushed into the line of fire.
Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus was the first officer to confront the shooter at the Borderline Bar. He was shot, and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said he was a 29-year veteran of the department, and was set to retire within a year or so.
"He gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero, because he went in to save lives, to save other people," Dean said, choking up.
Davis described the police response, which he said was indicative of how law enforcement responses to mass shootings have changed since Columbine.
"Police are now trained to assemble a group immediately and make entry into the facility where the incident is happening, especially if there is active gunfire," Davis said. "It appears as though that's exactly what happened here. But unfortunately, when police make a commitment to do that, they're sometimes on a very very dangerous mission, especially if they don't know what they're up against. Depending on what the officers have for equipment, they can be severely outgunned in a situation like that, and it appears as though one of the officers going into this event was killed."
Davis talked about some of the unknown factors that may face officers when they enter the scene of an active shooting.
"The numbers of people involved, the weapons involved, the tactical ability of the suspect you're going up against, what kind of cover and concealment they have--these are all questions that are very difficult to answer immediately upon arrival," he said. "It speaks to the officer's courage and what they're required to do in these situations."
Hear more of Binswanger's interview with Davis below.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Josh Binswanger (@JoshWBZ) reports