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San Bernardino County Deputy Shot, Killed Following Pursuit In Yucca Valley; Suspect Also Killed

YUCCA VALLEY (CBSLA) — A San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputy died after a suspect opened fire Monday afternoon following a motorcycle chase in Yucca Valley. The suspect was also killed.

San Bernardino County Deputy Shot, Killed Following Pursuit In Yucca Valley; Suspect Killed
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Sgt. Dominic Vaca was shot and killed by a suspect following a pursuit in Yucca Valley, Calif., on May 31, 2021. (San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department)

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department confirmed late Monday night that 43-year-old Sgt. Dominic Vaca passed away from his injuries after being airlifted to a local hospital. He was a 17-year veteran of the department.

His body was brought to the coroner's office in San Bernardino early Tuesday morning in a procession.

"The gunshot wound he sustained earlier today was too severe for him to overcome," San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said in a video posted to social media. Our prayers are with him and his family as we all mourn this difficult time."

Authorities said the chase started when a motorcyclist refused to yield for deputies at about 12:30 p.m. near Paxton Road and Imperial Drive.

The suspect then jumped off of the motorcycle at Dumosa and Sunnyslope and ran into the desert and began shooting at deputies. Vaca was struck by the gunfire and was airlifted to a nearby hospital where he died. He is survived by his wife and two children.

San Bernardino Deputy Shot Yucca Valley
A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy was airlifted to a hospital in unknown condition Monday after being shot at the end of a car chase in Yucca Valley. (CBSLA)

Other deputies returned fire, killing the suspect. Authorities said a handgun was recovered at the scene. The man was later identified as Bilal Winston Shabazz of Lancaster.

The investigation was said to be ongoing. It was not immediately clear why deputies were attempting to pull over the motorcycle.

There has been no word yet on when funeral services for Vaca will take place.

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