California deputy fatally shot, suspect critically wounded

California deputy fatally shot, suspect critically wounded

Updated on Saturday, January 14, 2023 | 2:56 am

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (AP) – A Southern California sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed Friday, just two weeks after another deputy in the department was killed in the line of duty.

The deaths of deputies Darnell Calhoun on Friday and Isaiah Cordero on Dec. 29 were the first since 2003 in which a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy was killed in the line of duty, Sheriff Chad Bianco said.

The suspect in Calhoun’s death is in custody and listed in critical condition after a gunfight with a second deputy, Bianco said Friday during a news conference.

Calhoun was shot to death in the city of Lake Elsinore, the sheriff said. He died after being taken to hospital in serious condition.

“I shouldn’t be here tonight to do this again,” Bianco said Friday outside the hospital. “I am saddened to report the loss of another one of our deputy sheriffs who was killed today in the line of duty.”

Calhoun is survived by his pregnant wife, Bianco said. He previously worked for the San Diego Police Department — the agency said on Twitter it was “devastated” to learn of his death — before moving to Riverside last year.

“He was the happiest, most positive, kindest, healthiest man you could imagine,” Bianco said.

Calhoun, 30, was the first deputy to arrive at the scene of a disturbance around 4:30 p.m. Friday after a call of an “unknown disturbance” where voices could be heard in the background, indicating a struggle, Bianco said.

“At this point, we are not entirely sure of the circumstances surrounding the initial contact,” Bianco said.

The second deputy found Calhoun injured in the street and confronted the suspect in a shootout. The suspect’s identity has not been released.

Lake Elsinore is about 55 miles (88 kilometers) southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Friday’s shooting comes as the sheriff’s department is reeling from Cordero’s death. The 32-year-old was fatally shot last month during a traffic stop in the town of Jurupa Valley, east of Los Angeles.

Cordero had crashed into a pickup truck and the driver, 44-year-old William Shae McKay, shot the deputy as he approached the vehicle. Law enforcement pursued McKay on a manhunt that included a pursuit along highways in two counties, authorities said.

McKay was killed during a shootout with deputies after the truck crashed.

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco and Cordero’s family have called for the resignation of a Southern California judge who granted McKay’s bail despite his lengthy criminal history.

The sheriff said McKay was convicted of a “third strike” offense in 2021 that should have put him in state prison for 25 years to life, but a judge reduced his bail, allowing him to be released and later released after an arrest for failure to appear at his sentencing.

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