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California deputy shot, killed by man with ‘extensive criminal history’ during traffic stop: sheriff

A California sheriff’s deputy was shot dead Thursday afternoon during a traffic stop, after a massive manhunt for the suspect led to him being shot dead by authorities.

At a press conference Thursday night, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco confirmed that Lieutenant Isaiah Cordero was shot dead during a traffic stop in Julpa Valley. I’m drowning in it,’ he said.

Bianco said of the 32-year-old agent who was hired by Riverside County as a corrections attorney in May 2014, “He certainly embodied our motto: serve before self.

Bianco said Cordero started the 204 Basic Academy in February 2018 and was promoted to sworn deputy sheriff upon completion of the program. He graduated from motor school in September and was working as a motorcycle lieutenant, a highly coveted job in the military, and had only about three months left when he was killed.

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Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Isaiah Cordero has been identified by the police union as being shot dead by a deputy sheriff on Thursday.

Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Isaiah Cordero has been identified by the police union as being shot dead by a deputy sheriff on Thursday.
(Riverside County Sheriff’s Office)

The Riverside Sheriff’s Association initially identified Cordero as the deceased lieutenant and released the following statement about his death:

“We are devastated by the loss of Lieutenant Isaiah Cordero, a sunshine of the Riverside Sheriff’s Department and a deputy dedicated to protecting others. We face a tragedy that serves as a reminder of the unwavering courage needed by peace officers and their families.

“Deputy Cordero wore the uniform every day to make a difference in the community and keep his family safe,” the statement continued. “Deputy Cordero’s Death leaves a huge hole in the hearts of so many who had the chance to know him personally. I have made the ultimate sacrifice in my duty — a debt that can never be repaid. Through our words and deeds, we must honor his memory and lifetime of public service. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and fellow legislators as they navigate this difficult time.”

Cordero was shot during a traffic stop near Block 3900 on Golden West Avenue at about 2:00 p.m. Deputies were approaching the car when the driver, later identified as 54-year-old William Shay McKay, pulled out a gun and shot him.

Bianco said a community member witnessed the shooting, called 911, and stayed with Cordero until paramedics arrived on the scene.

Authorities at the scene where a Riverside County sheriff's deputy was shot Thursday. The suspect was shot dead by authorities shortly after.

Authorities at the scene where a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy was shot Thursday. The suspect was shot dead by authorities shortly after.
(KT TV)

During the meeting, Bianco said McKay had an extensive criminal record in California spanning over 22 years.

According to Bianco, McKay’s extensive search ended fairly quickly when he was found driving in San Bernardino County. McKay led the authorities back to Riverside County, where spike strips were deployed, damaging both rear tires. He continued his drive until his car was incapacitated, then began firing at the deputy, who returned fire, killing him.

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Prior to shooting Cordero, McKay was recently tracked by California authorities in connection with a felony kidnapping warrant in March 2021. McKay was arrested after stabbing California Highway Patrol K-9 Sam, who survived the attack.

Bianco said McKay should have been convicted of a third strike in November 2021 and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in connection with the above incident. McKay’s bail was lowered, resulting in his release.

According to Bianco, he was subsequently arrested for failing to appear for sentencing, and the same judge allowed him to be released again.

“If the judges were on their job, we wouldn’t be here today,” Bianco said.

The sheriff didn’t name the judge, but said she was a San Bernardino County judge.

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco is speaking to news outlets Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, following the death of Deputy Isaiah Cordero while on duty.

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco is speaking to news outlets Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, following the death of Deputy Isaiah Cordero while on duty.
(Riverside County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)

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A large group of law enforcement members were seen outside the Riverside Community Hospital where the lieutenant died.

On Thursday, December 29, 2022, Riverside County Deputy Isaiah Cordero was shot dead while attempting to stop traffic in Julpa County, California.

On Thursday, December 29, 2022, Riverside County Deputy Isaiah Cordero was shot dead while attempting to stop traffic in Julpa County, California.
(Riverside County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)

Cordero is the first Riverside County deputy to be killed in the line of duty in more than a decade, according to the sheriff, who added that the office has about 4,000 employees.

He is survived by his girlfriend, older brother-in-law, and his parents.