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L.A. Deputy Killed After Traffic Stop; Shooter Should Have Been in Prison

During a traffic stop in Jurupa Valley, Ca., a Riverside County sheriff's deputy was fatally shot, prompting a high-speed chase across multiple freeways that ended with deputies killing the gunman in a shootout. The shooter was a violent felon who should have been incarcerated under California’s “three strikes” law after a conviction but was released on bail while his case was pending, said Sheriff Chad Bianco, the Los Angeles Times reports. Deputy Isaiah Cordero, 32, was conducting a traffic stop when the suspect pulled out a gun and shot him as he approached the vehicle, Bianco said. While a witness called 911, the gunman drove off, starting a sweeping manhunt that spanned two counties. Spotted in San Bernardino County, the gunman fled back to Jurupa Valley, where his truck ran over a spike strip on a freeway but continued driving. As many as 30 police vehicles followed the gunman’s truck south on Interstate 15. . By the time the gunman reached the 6th Street exit, the vehicle was smoking, its tires had been stripped away, and an axle had given way, rendering it disabled. The final confrontation ended when the gunman shot at the deputies pursuing him, prompting them to return fire and kill him. More than 10 officers opened fire in the gun battle. Bianco identified the gunman as William Shea McKay, 44.

It was not immediately clear why Cordero had pulled over McKay. Investigators will review footage from the deputy’s body camera. Bianco blamed Cordero’s death on failures of the criminal justice system. McKay’s criminal history dated to the 1990s and included kidnapping, robbery, and multiple assaults with deadly weapons. “This terrible tragedy should have been prevented by the legal system,” Bianco said. “McKay has an extensive, violent past and was convicted of his third strike in November of 2021.” That case involved kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon. “Instead of sentencing him to 25 years to life, which should have happened, the judge lowered his bail, allowing him to be released,” Bianco said. McKay was arrested again for failing to appear at his sentencing “and additional criminal charges,” but he was released by the same judge. McKay was convicted on Nov. 8, 2021, of false imprisonment, evading a peace officer, criminal threats likely to result in death or great bodily injury and receiving stolen property. Evidence included zip ties, duct tape, an ax, and gang paraphernalia.


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