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Riverside County deputy shot dead after car stop in California

Isaiah Cordero, a deputy with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, was shot dead Thursday after a car chase in southern California. Photo courtesy of Jurupa Valley Mayor Chris Barajas/Facebook
Isaiah Cordero, a deputy with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, was shot dead Thursday after a car chase in southern California. Photo courtesy of Jurupa Valley Mayor Chris Barajas/Facebook

Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A deputy with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department was shot dead Thursday after a car stop in southern California.

Isaiah Cordero, 32, was identified as the deputy who was killed in a statement by Jurupa Valley Mayor Chris Barajas.

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"Deputy Cordero was one of our motor officers and was well known to city staff, councilmembers, and many of our residents. His service to our community has been positively immeasurable and invaluable," Barajas said.

"I want to extend my deepest condolences to Deputy Cordero's family and friends."

Barajas said in an earlier statement that the suspect, who was later identified as 44-year-old William McKay, was also killed during the incident.

"I am deeply heartbroken to share with you that we lost one of our own today who was killed while he was serving our community," Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said during a news conference.

Bianco said that Cordero was first hired by the department in May 2014 as a correction deputy and spent time working in local jails before he was promoted as a sworn deputy sheriff in February 2018.

Cordero completed motor school in September and was assigned to work in motorcycle enforcement, Bianco said.

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"Deputy Cordero learned from his mother the value of serving and helping others. His goal from the day he was hired was to become a motor deputy," he said. "He was a jokester around the station and all of our deputies considered him their little brother."

Cordero made a traffic stop and was approaching the vehicle just after 2 p.m. when the suspect produced a gun and shot him, Bianco said.

"A community member who witnessed the shooting called 911. Our department, along with some allied agencies, responded immediately. Residents tried to help Deputy Cordero until law enforcement and paramedics arrived," Bianco said.

Officials then began a "massive manhunt" for the suspect who was located in San Bernardino County before a chase began, which went through San Bernardino County before returning into Riverside County.

Deputies were successful with a spike strip, however, the vehicle continued and become disabled before crashing.

"At the conclusion of the pursuit, the suspect fired rounds at deputies. At that time, deputies returned fire and the suspect was killed," Bianco said.

Bianco detailed McKay's "extensive criminal history" while he lambasted California's judicial system.

"William had an extensive criminal history dating back to before the year 2000, which consisted of kidnapping, robbery, multiple assaults with deadly weapons -- including the stabbing of a California Highway Patrol K9 and many more," Bianco said.

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"This terrible tragedy should have been prevented by the legal system."

McKay was convicted of his third strike in November 2021 in a case that involved kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, Bianco said.

"Instead of sentencing him to 25 years to life, the judge lowered his bail allowing him to be released. He was again arrested for failing to appear at his sentencing and additional criminal charges. That same judge released him again," he said.

"We would not be here today if the judge had done her job."

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