The officer who was first on the scene

Ventura County Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran, was killed in the line of duty when he heroically entered the building and confronted the gunman.
2:50 | 11/09/18

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Transcript for The officer who was first on the scene
here today, when the sheriff, who was set to retire tomorrow, was asked if the sheriff's sergeant, Ron helus, if he survived. Well, he broke down as he delivered the news. Here's the moment, and I spoke with the sheriff just a short time ago. It was a powerful and heartbreaking moment here today, when the community first learned that 54-year-old sergeant Ron helus did not survive. Ventura county sheriff geoff Dean was talking about his friend, on the force 29 years, that sergeant was among the first to enter the club. This morning, in front of the cameras, a reporter asking that sheriff, did your sergeant survive? How is your sergeant doing? Sergeant helus died at the -- the sergeant passed away at the hospital about an hour ago. Reporter: Late today, sheriff geoff Dean with us. We watched you this morning talk about your friend, sergeant helus. An impossible day for you, as you try to protect a community, but also react to the loss of your friend. What can you tell us about sergeant helus? 29-year veteran of the sheriff's office, a father, a husband. Really, really cared about his people. Trained them really hard so they would always be safe. Had a wonderful relationship with his wife. Sadly, talked to her right before he went into that, ran into danger. Reporter: He was on the phone with her when the first calls came in? He was on the phone talking with her, and said, I love you, hon, I got to go, I got a call. And jumped in with that patrol office and went through that front door. Reporter: Speaks volumes about his bravery and all the officers around the country responding to these mass shootings. These two officers, and all the officers that came out and went back into that building, are all heroes. Reporter: Did I read that you're supposed to retire tomorrow? Tomorrow at midnight. Reporter: And is it impossible just to wrap your head around what you've witnessed today on this last day? It's -- it's difficult, because I've been doing this for 41 years and you don't leave things unfinished. Reporter: What do we do as a country? Because a lot of people are watching the news tonight and saying, another one of these. I think we try to look at the core and try to understand what happened and see if there's a way that we can stop it. We all try to make sense of the senseless. Reporter: Well, I know you lost a friend, so, I thank you for even talking with us tonight, and on the eve of your retirement, I just thank you for your service. I appreciate that. I appreciate your compassion and the way you talk. Reporter: Thank you, sheriff. Sheriff geoff Dean with us

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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