The procession for Sgt. Dominic Vaca departed from the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office at 6:45 a.m. and will make its way to the Glen Helen Amphitheatre, where a private memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. The amphitheater will livestream the service here.
Traffic is expected to be impacted in the area, with the 215 Freeway at Devore closed to all drivers not involved in the procession.
Meanwhile, the California Highway Patrol says major delays are expected between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. along the 215 Freeway southbound in San Bernardino County and Riverside County. Closures will be in place and expected to last one hour.
This comes nearly two weeks after the 43-year-old sheriff’s deputy — a 17-year veteran of the department who served at the Morongo Basin Station — was killed.
Deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop after spotting the suspect, later identified as Bilal Winston Shabazz, without a license plate near the intersection of Paxton Road and Imperial Drive. The man on the motorcycle refused to pull over and a chase ensued, the sheriff’s department said in a statement.
During the pursuit, the suspect “bailed out of the vehicle” near Dumosa Avenue and Sunnyslope Drive and ran into the desert, the news release said.
“A short time later, they located the motorcycle and the rider was gone,” Sheriff McMahon said.
As deputies approached the motorcycle and attempted to find the rider, he started firing at responding deputies, striking Vaca.
“A short time later, the suspect was located and he started shooting at the additional deputies. They returned fire and the suspect is deceased,” the sheriff said, adding that a handgun was found at the scene.
Vaca was airlifted to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries.
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