JURUPA VALLEY, Calif. A Southern California sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot Thursday by a man with a violent criminal record during a traffic stop and the suspect later died in a freeway shooting, authorities said.
Isaiah Cordero, 32, had stopped a pickup truck just before 2 p.m. in the east Los Angeles city of Jurupa Valley. As he approached the vehicle, the driver drew a gun and fired at him, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said at an evening news conference.
A witness called 911 and residents tried to help Cordero until paramedics arrived, but he was pronounced dead at a hospital.
A “mass manhunt” then began for the shooter and he was spotted in neighboring San Bernardino County, sparking a freeway chase through both counties. A spike strip disabled two rear wheels, but the truck kept going, the sheriff said.
Television news showed dozens of California Highway Patrol and Sheriff’s Department cars chasing the truck.
On Interstate 15 in Norco, the truck eventually became disabled, lost an axle and crashed, Bianco said.
“At the end of the chase, the suspect fired at the officers” with a handgun and they fired back, killing him, Bianco said.
The suspect, William Shae McKay, 44, of San Bernardino County, had a long and violent criminal history dating back to before 2000, including kidnapping, robbery, and multiple arrests for assault with a deadly weapon, including the stabbing of a California Highway Patrol dog. said the bailiff.
Cordero was a motorcycle officer assigned to Jurupa Valley, a city about 45 miles east of downtown Los Angeles that contracts with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for police services.
Cordero joined the 4,000-strong department as a corrections officer, worked in local jails, became a sworn officer in 2018 and completed motor school to become a motorcycle officer in September, Bianco said.
Cordero “learned from his mother the value of serving and helping others” and his goal in the department was always to become a motor deputy, Bianco said.
“He was naturally drawn to law enforcement and he certainly embodied our motto of service above himself,” Bianco said. “He was a prankster at the station and all our agents considered him his little brother.”
The sheriff said McKay had been convicted of a “third offense” offense last year that should have put him in state prison for 25 years to life, but a San Bernardino County judge lowered his bail, allowing his release. release, and later released him after an arrest. for not appearing at his sentence.
“He should have been sentenced immediately to 25 years to life in prison,” Bianco said. “We wouldn’t be here today if the judge had done her job.” White said.
Several hours after the shooting, dozens of motorcycle officers and patrol cars escorted a hearse carrying the officer’s flag-draped casket from the hospital to the county coroner’s office.