Watch: Calif. deputy takes barrage of bullets at traffic stop, patrol car torched

Investigators say it's not immediately clear how the cruiser became engulfed by flames


By Rene Ray De La Cruz
Daily Press, Victorville, Calif.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. — San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said a deputy shot Tuesday is expected to survive but suffered injuries to his face and arm in an incident that has sent authorities in search of a suspect.

Outside Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, where the deputy is being treated, Dicus told reporters the 27-year-old deputy had "superficial injuries to his face" and "some type of shrapnel in his arm."

Dicus said the deputy, who has been with the department for four years, was in "good spirits" when he visited him at the hospital before the 7 p.m. press conference.

"He's coherent and talking and surrounded by his family," Dicus said. "And we're making sure that he's getting his family taken care of, and excellent medical attention is being provided here at the hospital."

The suspect shot the deputy during an attempted traffic stop at about 4:14 p.m. in the city of San Bernardino, according to Dicus.

"Preliminarily, it looks like a corner was rounded, and the shooting occurs, and then the deputy makes the radio broadcast," he said.

Authorities on Tuesday evening had no information on a suspect, save a description of the vehicle the deputy gave to sheriff's dispatch when he first called in the traffic stop, which Dicus said is part of the department's protocol.

Because the shooting occurred within city limits, Dicus said the San Bernardino Police Department will head up the investigation, which will include at least two searches — one for the suspect, and one for answers to why a sheriff's vehicle caught fire during the incident.

 

"It is odd for certainly the vehicle to be consumed, or engulfed," Dicus said. "We don't really know what happened in that exchange, or anything else that may have affected that. Or, maybe it could be an anomaly with the car."

Footage of the burning vehicle captured by ABC7 also showed its destroyed hood and damaged front end.

Dicus said the shooting occurred "in very short order" — from when the deputy announced the traffic stop to when he called, "Shots fired" and said he was hit.

When responding deputies arrived, they found the deputy on the ground. Dicus said they applied a tourniquet and drove him to Community Hospital of San Bernardino, the medical center closest to the scene.

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Three local schools were placed on lockdown as deputies investigated the shooting. The schools reopened around 4:40 p.m.

The deputy was later taken to Arrowhead Regional, where Dicus said medical staff would perform X-rays to identify the type of shrapnel in the deputy's arm.

Dicus called the shooting "traumatizing" and "certainly not something you would expect."

"We gotta remember, these folks that go out and do this job on our behalf as citizens, day in and day out, take those risks," Dicus said. "And you never know when you're going to encounter somebody that's going to impose violence on you."

(c)2021 Daily Press, Victorville, Calif.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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