A traffic stop that resulted in the shooting death of a California sheriff’s deputy on Thursday afternoon sparked a large manhunt for the suspect, who was eventually shot dead by law enforcement.
Sheriff Chad Bianco of Riverside County stated during a news conference on Thursday night that Deputy Isaiah Cordero was shot and killed while being pulled over in Jurupa Valley. He declared that the tragedy had left the department “very devastated.”
The 32-year-old officer, who was employed by Riverside County as a correctional deputy in May 2014, “clearly embraced our motto of service before self,” Bianco said of him.
According to Bianco, Cordero started the 204 Basic Academy in February 2018 and graduated as a sworn deputy sheriff. He had only been a motorcycle deputy, a highly sought-after position on the force, for roughly three months when he was killed. He had graduated from Motor School in September.
RIP Deputy Cordero. Our hearts are with you, your family, and our partners at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Thank you for your service. Rest easy sir, we got it from here. pic.twitter.com/ELgZfQkwgD
— LAPD Rampart (@LAPDRampart) December 30, 2022
Earlier in the evening, the Riverside Sheriff’s Association initially identified Cordero as the deceased deputy and released the following statement in response to his passing:
“The loss of Deputy Isaiah Cordero, a deputy who was a beacon of hope for the Riverside Sheriff’s Department and a person committed to safeguarding others, has left us inconsolable in our grief. We find ourselves in the unfortunate situation of being reminded once more of the selflessness and steadfast courage required of peace officers and their families.
The statement said, “Deputy Cordero put on his uniform daily to make a difference in his neighborhood and keep families safe.” Many people who had the opportunity to get to know Deputy Cordero personally are deeply saddened by his passing. Deputy Cordero paid the ultimate price today in the course of duty; this is a debt that cannot be paid back. His legacy of public service must be honored via our words and deeds. Through this trying time, our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and fellow deputies.
Also on Thursday night, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement regarding Cordero’s death in the course of duty:”Jennifer and I would want to express our sincere condolences to Deputy Isaiah Cordero’s family, friends, and coworkers at this trying time. He gave his community selflessly, bravely, and with passion. We shall never forget his sacrifice and give him our appreciation.
Around 2:00 p.m., a traffic stop took place close to the 3900 block of Golden West Avenue, and Cordero was fatally shot. When the deputy approached the car, the driver, later identified as William Shae McKay, 54, drew a revolver and shot the deputy.
According to Bianco, a member of the neighborhood saw the gunshot, called 911, and stayed with Cordero until paramedics came.
Bianco stated at the briefing that McKay has a lengthy criminal history in California spanning more than 22 years.
After a protracted manhunt, McKay was eventually found driving in San Bernardino County, according to Bianco. After leading law enforcement on a chase back into Riverside County, McKay’s rear tires were damaged by a spike strip that was put in place. He kept on driving until his car broke down, at which point he started shooting at the deputies, who then shot back and killed him.
McKay was last sought out by California officials in March 2021 in relation to a felony kidnapping warrant, which is when he shot Cordero. When McKay’s car was immobilized by a spike strip and he attempted to flee on foot, California Highway Patrol K-9 Sam tackled him and took him down, leading to his capture. The K-9 escaped the assault.
According to Bianco, McKay should have received a sentence of 25 years to life in prison after being found guilty of committing his third strike in connection with the aforementioned incident in November 2021. McKay was released because the judge reduced his bail before to sentence.
After that, according to Bianco, he was detained for failing to show up for his sentencing, when the same judge permitted his release.
If the judge had performed her duties, “we wouldn’t be here today,” Bianco added.