A man killed while exchanged gunfire with deputies during a pursuit from Apple Valley to Yucca Valley early Monday morning has been identified.
36-year-old Anthony Watkins died in the area of Pinon Drive and Camino Del Ciel Trail off Highway 62 Monday morning, according to a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department news release. The release also specifies that he was a transient from Lucerne Valley.
The incident followed a pursuit that began in Apple Valley Sunday night, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
At 9:39 p.m., Sunday, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies assigned to the Victor Valley station responded to a report of a possible burglary at a home in the Apple Valley area. Deputies gathered information from the reporting party on the incident and located the vehicle, the cab of a semi-truck.
The truck failed to yield, and a pursuit followed onto Highway 247. The Sheriff’s Aviation team was called in to assist, and spike strips were deployed twice to attempt to halt the suspect vehicle.
During the pursuit, the suspect fired on deputies multiple times, and the first of three deputy-involved shootings occurred. The first involved the Sheriff’s Aviation unit.
After this, the semi-truck crashed into a Sheriff’s patrol vehicle when the pursuit shifted to Highway 62.
After the collision, the second deputy-involved shooting occurred. After the vehicle crashed off the side of the road near Highway 62 and Pinon, the third deputy-involved shooting occurred.
According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Watkins was struck during the second shooting incident, and was pronounced dead on the scene.
One deputy sustained non-gunfire-related injuries that did not require medical attention. Homicide investigators have responded to the scene and the investigation is ongoing.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, an investigation revealed that the truck Watkins was driving was not stolen, the theft of said vehicle may have gone unreported. A handgun was recovered in the cab of the vehicle.
Highway 62 was shut down until 2 a.m. Tuesday in the area of the incident.
Anyone with information that may aid the investigation is urged to contact Detective T. Phillips at 909-387-3589. To report an anonymous tip, contact the We-Tip hotline at 800-78-CRIME or go to WeTip.com .