The life of a San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputy killed in a shooting in Yucca Valley is being honored during a memorial service Friday morning.
The Sheriff's Department is holding the memorial service for Sgt. Dominic Vaca Friday morning at the Glen Helen Amphitheatre in San Bernardino. The service is be closed to the public, but it will be livestreamed.
Vaca's procession departed from the San Bernardino County coroner's office at approximately 6:45 a.m.
Vaca, 43, was shot on Memorial Day while searching for a suspect in the Yucca Valley desert. He was rushed to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs where he was later pronounced dead.
Sheriff John McMahon said deputies had originally tried to stop the suspect after noticing his motorcycle didn't have license plates. The suspect led deputies on a short pursuit before then go on to fleeing from his motorcycle on foot. Deputies spotted the abandoned motorcycle and when they searched the area, the suspect started shooting at the responding deputies. Vaca was struck by the gunfire.
"The police told me to get down, I looked behind me, and as I looked forward the suspect had his gun drawn at me," a resident of the area told News Channel 3's Jake Ingrassia. "He was gonna shoot me."
The suspect, identified as Bilal Winston Shabazz, age 29 of Lancaster, later shot at other deputies before being shot and killed. It was determined that Shabazz had a no-bail warrant out of Los Angeles County.
Vaca was a 17-year veteran of the department and served as a sergeant at the Morongo Basin Sheriff's Station.
A memorial fund has been set-up, with all proceeds going to Vaca's wife and children. Click here to visit that page.