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Investigators ID suspect who shot and killed Morongo Sheriff Sergeant

Rebecca Johnson

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department released the name of the suspect who allegedly shot and killed Sergeant Dominic Vaca on Monday.

According to an updated news release on Wednesday, Police say Bilal Winston Shabazz, age 29 of Lancaster, shot and killed Vaca before being shot and killed by deputies.

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The incident began at around 12:33 p.m. Monday, when deputies spotted Shabazz 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 Shabazz failed to yield and a 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.

Vaca was struck by the gunfire. He was airlifted to Desert Regional Hospital in Palm Springs, where he was later pronounced dead.

Shabazz was later shot and killed by other responding deputies to the scene.

Investigators say a loaded handgun was located next to Shabazz. Two additional magazines containing ammunition were found on his person.

"The police told me to get down, I looked behind me, and as I looked forward the suspect had his gun drawn at me," he said. " Yucca Valley resident Brien Cruz told News Channel 3's Jake Ingrassia. "He was gonna shoot me."

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Detectives from the Specialized Investigations Division, Homicide Detail, responded to conduct the investigation. It was determined that the suspect had a no-bail warrant out of Los Angeles County.

Crime / Local News / News / News Headlines

Rich Tarpening


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