He described them both as heroes who had "paid the ultimate price". The shooter is also dead after the attack.
"It was chaos, people jumping out of windows, hopping over gates and just trying to get out", he said. Law enforcement and emergency crews were flooding the scene.
Later, he enrolled at nearby California State University, Northridge, last attending in 2016, the school said in a statement.
The man who shot and killed 12 people in Thousand Oaks, California, was identified on Monday as Ian David Long.
Shootings of any kind are extremely rare in Thousand Oaks, a city of about 130,000 people about 40 miles from Los Angeles, just across the county line.
Dean said the shooter was already dead when officers made entry.
According to AP, Ventura County Sheriff's Office Captain Garo Kuredjian said the first reports of shots fired came around 11:20 pm and the authorities are still treating it as "a very active scene".
Helus, a veteran of 29 years, and patrolman entered the bar after hearing gunshots.
"We do not know at this time how many rounds were actually in the weapon or how many rounds the magazine could actually hold because it's still being processed as part of the evidence", Dean said.
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At Borderline Bar and Grill, a country-western dance bar that is a popular venue for college students, the night took a turn when a gunman entered and opened fire. Once safely outside, the uninjured hugged and awaited word about those still inside.
Coffman was awakened about 1 a.m.by people who had been at the bar with Cody, he told HLN Thursday morning. He said Cody will be remembered for his love for his younger siblings, including two brothers and a soon-to-be born sister, and that he loved working with kids. He was deployed to Afghanistan from November 16, 2010 to June 14, 2011, the Marine Corps said.
Long was a US Marine Corps veteran, Dean said.
Police have not identified a motive.
"They found him", he told reporters.
The sheriff's department had several previous contacts with Long including a call to his home in April when deputies found him acting irate and irrationally. "Multiple injuries reported. Details still being determined".
Hours after a gunman stormed a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, and opened fire, Jason Coffman learned that his oldest son was among the 12 killed.
President Donald Trump was briefed on the shooting and praised law enforcement officers for their response.
"Great bravery shown by police".
At an earlier news conference Sheriff Dean's voice cracked as he spoke about Sgt. Helus, "He went in to save lives". "God bless all of the victims and families of the victims".