A man was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies after they witnessed him shoot and kill a woman whom a 911 caller described as the gunman’s ex-girlfriend in the Yucca Valley area, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
At about 8:14 p.m. Monday, deputies got a call from a man who said he was currently on the phone with the woman who was later killed, officials said in a news release. The caller said the woman went to meet her ex-boyfriend in a remote location.
The caller said he could hear her screaming over the phone line and believed she was being assaulted, authorities said. The caller also said he could hear a man in the background saying he had a gun.
He told sheriff’s deputies that the pair were in a dirt field near Yucca Trail and La Contenta Road, officials said. When deputies arrived at the field, they saw the two people standing outside a vehicle.
As the deputies tried to approach the couple, they saw the man shoot the woman in her upper body. She was was taken to a hospital but was later pronounced dead at about 9:35 p.m.
At least one deputy fired at the suspect but he fled the scene on foot, officials said. The deputies searched the surrounding desert terrain until they spotted the man near a bush, then fatally shot him just moments later in a second deputy-involved shooting, authorities said.
It’s not clear if more than one deputy fired in each instance, or if the suspect was struck by gunfire the first time.
The gunman was pronounced dead at the scene.
The names of the gunman and the victim have not been released, as their families have not yet been notified, sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller said. The audio of the 911 call is not being released because it’s considered evidence in the case.
The location given for the shooting was described by the Sheriff’s Department as Joshua Tree, but it is on the edge of Yucca Valley and unincorporated county area, about a mile west of the city of Joshua Tree’s border.
No further details have been released by law enforcement but anyone with information can contact Detective Floyd Stone at 909-387-3589. Anonymous tips can be forwarded to 800-782-7463.