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Sheriff's Deputy Killed in Shootout After Suspect Ditches Motorcycle and Flees Into California Desert

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A Southern California sheriff’s deputy died after being shot by a suspect who was later killed in a shootout with deputies east of Los Angeles, authorities said Tuesday.

The events unfolded Monday afternoon when deputies tried to pull over a motorcycle without a license plate near Yucca Valley, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon.

The motorcyclist sped away, ditched the bike and ran into open desert, McMahon said.

As deputies searched the area, the suspect opened fire on them, McMahon said.

One deputy was shot and airlifted to a hospital, where he died. He was identified as Sgt. Dominic Vaca, 43.

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“Our prayers are with him and his family as we all mourn in this difficult time,” McMahon said in a video statement.

McMahon said deputies found the gunman, who once again started shooting at them.

Deputies returned fire and killed the suspect, who was not immediately identified.

A handgun was recovered at the scene, officials said.

Vaca was a 17-year veteran of the department assigned to the Morongo Basin station, about 120 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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