San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon confirmed early Tuesday morning a deputy shot during a Yucca Valley pursuit was pronounced dead at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.
He was identified as Sergeant Dominic Vaca, 43.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Sergeant Dominic Vaca. pic.twitter.com/VCqSX7YfhF— San Bernardino County Sheriff (@sbcountysheriff) June 1, 2021
Vaca was a 17-year veteran of the department and served as a sergeant at the Morongo Basin Sheriff's Station.
A procession was held overnight along the I-10 early Tuesday morning, as a row of of police officers and deputies lined up to pay their respects.
The incident began at around 12:33 p.m. Monday when deputies spotted a man driving a motorcycle without license plates in the area of Paxton Road and Imperial Drive, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said.
The deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the motorcyclist but they failed to yield and pursuit ensued. The pursuit ended when the driver bailed out of the motorcycle in the area of Dumosa and Sunnyslope Drive and ran into an open desert area nearby.
McMahon said the deputies spotted the abandoned motorcycle and when they searched the area, the suspect started shooting at the responding deputies.
A deputy was struck by the gunfire. He was airlifted to the hospital and was initially reported as being in serious condition, McMahon announced.
McMahon said deputies were able to locate the suspect, who once again started shooting at them. Deputies returned fire and killed the suspect.
The investigation remains ongoing, additional details are expected to be released later.
Stay with News Channel 3 for any updates.