Family of shooter who opened fired in a gun store now claiming he was ‘murdered’ by those who stopped him

METAIRIE, LA- On Saturday, February 20th, an armed person entered a gun store and shooting range in a New Orleans suburb and opened fire, fatally shooting two people and prompting customers as well as staff to fire back.

According to reports, the shooting happened around 2:50 p.m. at the Jefferson Gun Outlet in the suburb of Metairie. Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said that the shooter initially struck two people inside.

After the incident, a man outside the building could be seen behind yellow police tape yelling, “Where is my son?” The gunman, later identified as 27-year-old Joshua Jamal Williams, murdered a store employee and a customer before he was fatally shot by no less than seven armed customers and store employees.

Reportedly, sources said Williams had carried a pistol with an extended clip into the range and when staff told him to unload his weapon he instead fired a warning round before fatally shooting the store employee, since identified as 47-year-old Herbert “Noah” Fischbach.

In an interview, the grieving widow, Nancy Fischbach said:

“He was amazing. Words can’t describe the person he was. He was so genuine, so real, so true. He was my soulmate.”

Fischbach said she believed her husband died when the gunfire erupted because he was trying to help. She said:

“He helped people. He bent over backwards for everybody. He would not hurt anybody unless they did something wrong.”

Fischbach leaves behind his wife of 14 years and his 13-year-old son. She said:

“He did everything for Ethan and me.”

After news of the fatally shootout spread, Williams’ family was quick to say the New Orleans man was not at fault over the weekend. A woman who claimed to be Williams’ mother wrote in a social media post:

“He was MURDERED.”

Michael Mayer, an executive at Jefferson Gun Outlet, said that Williams attacked the business. He said in a statement:

“He walked in our store and was asked by our compliance officer to unload his firearm before entering. He became agitated by the request and pulled his gun out of his pants and started firing.”

He added:

“Our armed and trained employees as well as some armed, permitted customers, returned fire and eliminated the threat. One customer as well as one employee perished in the gun battle. Joshua Williams, the gunman, is also dead.”

Sheriff Lopinto said that two other people were hit by gunfire and were hospitalized in stable condition. Officials confirmed that 59-year-old Veronica Billiot was mortally wounded during the shootout.

Tyrone Russell and Wanetta Joseph were both in a conceal-and-carry course at the store when they heard what they both described as rapid firing. They said the gunfire sounded much louder than the usual muffled shooting they are used to hearing inside of the shooting range. Russell said:

“We heard the gunshots and the screaming. When the police came, they escorted us out. I could see glass everywhere. It was just like a really scary scene.”

Joseph, who hit with other students under a table, said:

“It got extremely lout, like a bomb almost.”

Officials said both Fischbach and Billiot were pronounced dead at the scene. 

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Report: After being shot six times, sheriff’s sergeant returned fire at mass shooter and saved countless lives

December 21st, 2020

THOUSAND OAKS, CA – Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the force, was one of 12 people who were killed during the mass shooting on November. 7, 2018 in a Thousand Oaks bar and grill. 

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office has released the final report on the event, and it shows that not only was Sergeant Helus a true hero, but that he went down shooting.

Sergeant Helus, the District Attorney’s report indicates, was shot five times by the gunman at the bar, and once from outside the bar by a fellow officer who was returning fire against the gunman.  Helus tripped and fell as he was exiting the business, still returning fire.

Shot six times, valiant Sheriff’s Deputy Sergeant returned fire at mass shooter, saving many
Screenshot courtesy of ABC 7 Los Angeles and YouTube

That fateful night at the Borderline Bar & Grill, 54-year-old Ron Helus was among the first law enforcement officers to arrive at the scene.

Geoff Dean, Ventura County then-Sheriff said of Sergeant Helus:

“When he heard gunfire, he went in and that’s something [we] would expect from Ron.”

The report from the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office also vindicated the officers on scene, stating that Sergeant Helus and the other law enforcement officers who returned fire during the attack were justified in doing so.

From the transcript of the District Attorney’s report, as reported by ABC 7 Los Angeles, details were explained:

“Sergeant Helus entered the dark, smoky bar and exchanged gunfire with the shooter, Ian David Long.

 “The sergeant was trying to move back toward the door amid the chaos, when his feet became tangled in a rope.

“He (Helus) fell to the ground and was rising back to his feet just outside the front door as California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Todd Barrett was returning fire at Long from outside the bar.

“Long, who was still inside the building, shot Sergeant Helus five times during the mayhem.”

The medical examiner later determined that the sergeant was killed by a sixth round as a result of friendly fire.  The bullet, which was fired by California Highway Patrol Officer Barrett, pierced Sergeant Helus’ heart.  Prosecutors determined Officer Barrett’s shooting of Sergeant Helus was an accident, and he will not face criminal charges.

Quoting again from the report:

“In an extraordinary act of heroism due to the active threat Long posed, Sergeant Helus and Officer Barrett entered the Borderline without knowledge of where Long was located, which afforded Long a substantial tactical advantage.

“Long, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, had taken a tactical position inside the bar and was waiting for law enforcement to walk around the corner.”

Describing Sergeant Helus, the report further indicated:

“It is a testament to his training, character, and valor that even though he had been shot in the heart, he found the strength and determination to continue to protect others and fight to the end.”

Sheriff Geoff Dean said in a statement to ABC 7 Los Angeles:

“It’s so tragic losing Ron.  We go to the gym together, work out together. It’s horrific and terrible and it saddens our hearts.”

The married father-of-one had given nearly three decades of his life to his department, and planned to retire in about a year.

Shot six times, valiant Sheriff’s Deputy Sergeant returned fire at mass shooter, saving many
Screenshot courtesy of ABC 7 Los Angeles and YouTube

Sheriff Dean continued:

“He went in to save lives, to save other people.  He was totally committed, he gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero.”

The District Attorney’s report also described the shooting event:

“Long threw multiple smoke grenades into the packed establishment to help block others from seeing him as he slipped inside.  He began shooting employees and patrons inside the Borderline just seconds after he walked in.

“Mass chaos ensued as people piled on top of one another and hid beneath tables in their scramble to avoid being shot.  Others ran out doorways or busted windows so they could jump out of the building.

“Investigators said Long spent about 20 minutes shooting at people with his .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun.

“He fired 61 rounds before he turned the gun on himself.  Long still had another 129 bullets on him when investigators found his body.”

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Here’s our initial coverage of the Borderline Bar & Grill incident:

Thousand Oaks Gunman Posted to Instagram During Murderous Rage

November 9, 2018

VENTURA COUNTY, CA — The Thousand Oaks gunman who killed 12 people inside the Borderline Bar & Grill on Wednesday night posted to Instagram while inside the country music bar, a law enforcement source told Fox News.

Ventura County Sgt. Eric Bucshow told Fox News that Ian David Long posted on Instagram during the shooting. However, the sheriff’s department could not confirm what was posted as the gunman methodically shot and reloaded.

As a result, the Instagram account has been taken down. However, it was up for several hours after the shooting—until law enforcement became aware of it.

Thousand Oaks gunman
Ian David Long shot and killed 12 people at a country music bar Wednesday night. (California DMV)

Detectives have sent what is called a “preservation letter” to Instagram. It is designed to make sure the account is not altered, and it gives law enforcement time to get a search warrant to go through the contents of the account. The search warrant is required by law.

Another law enforcement source confirmed to Fox News that the shooter posted “rants” before the massacre on his Facebook account.

fake profiles
(Pexels)

In those posts, the individual said he hopes that people call him insane and he mocked those who often offer “thoughts and prayers” after an incident takes place.

In the Facebook posting, the source confirms the writer said, “I hope they call me insane … wouldn’t that just be a big ball of irony? Yea, I’m insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is ‘hopes and prayers’… or ‘keep you in my thoughts’ … every time … and wonder why these (massacres) keep happening.”

So while the murderous shooter mocked those seeking solace and answers after such an event, he did not articulate what drove him to such a place of rage—at least not in the limited information that has been publicly released.

Yet, detectives are concentrating part of the investigation on the communication from the suspect and incorporated in his social media footprint.

Eventually, we’ll get a glimpse into the mind of the mass murderer.

Here’s additional coverage of an off-duty officer who jumped into action at the Borderline in Thousand Oaks:

You probably heard all about the tragedy inside a California bar during a college country-western night.

What you might have missed (at no fault of your own… it wasn’t widely covered), is the story about a group of off-duty cops who allegedly formed a human chain to help save the lives of innocent civilians trapped inside.

According to witnesses, approximately six unarmed officers from different local agencies were enjoying an evening at the Borderline Bar & Grill. They showed no sign of weakness when the suspect entered and began shooting.

The cops reportedly stood shoulder to shoulder as shots rang out, helping to protect those around them.

“They stood right in front of my daughter,” said a parent to Sheriff Geoff Dean after the shooting.

Each of the officers went home after the brutal exchange.

Sergeant Ron Helus of the Sheriff’s Department was not so lucky. He was on duty when the call came in.

Helus was speaking with his wife on the phone when he told her, “I gotta go handle a call. I love you. I’ll talk to you later.”

These were the last words he would ever say to her.

The 29-year veteran of the Sheriff’s office was fatally shot after running into the crowded pub and exchanging fire with the suspect.

He had reportedly intended to retire within the next few years. He was described as a man who would show no hesitation when someone was in danger.

“It’s awful. He was close to everybody,” said Sheriff Dean.

Additionally, a Navy SEAL who had survived the Las Vegas shooting was among those killed in the attack.

When tragedy strikes, we see terror. We see pain. We see suffering. But we also see those who rise above the danger and take action. Those who sprint toward the fire or the gunshots, going against every instinct in their body.

These courageous acts in times of unspeakable stress and sadness are just another testament to how strong the members of the Thin Blue Line are.

When it hits the fan… will you run? Or will you take a stand?

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Author: Jenna Curren


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