Two San Bernardino police officers were shot in Highland Wednesday afternoon while investigating a man believed to have injured a deputy during an “ambush” shooting the day before. The suspect who was being surveilled was killed.
The SWAT officers had been survilleing the man for hours in connection with the investigation into the deputy’s shooting when they attempted to take him into custody near Rosemary Drive and Victoria Avenue about 3:30 p.m., officials said.
That’s when the shooting occurred.
The officers were struck by gunfire and the man, identified by police as 34-year-old Ervin Olikong, was killed in the gunbattle, San Bernardino police Chief Eric McBride said during a news conference Wednesday evening.
The officers were taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center and are expected to survive, with one of them released Thursday. One of the officers was in surgery Wednesday evening, McBride said. They have not been identified.
A handgun was used in Wednesday’s shooting, while a rifle believed to have been used in the ambush shooting the day before had been recovered.
Sheriff’s Department detectives responded to the scene and will be conducting the investigation.
Olikong was described as a gang member from San Bernardino who has an extensive criminal history. He had previously been arrested on suspicion of violent robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, and he had a $200,000 warrant out for his arrest, McBride said.
“Obviously this is someone who we don’t want out on the streets, who has been on the run at least since 2019,” the chief said.
San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said coroner’s officials were still working to positively ID the body.
Aerial video from Sky5 showed a large police presence at the scene of the shooting and a body of a man lying in an adjacent field. Items that appeared to be police gear strewn with blood were also in the area.
On Tuesday, a 27-year-old deputy was wounded in a shooting about 4:15 p.m.
He was trying to stop a vehicle in the area of 10th Street and Waterman Avenue before engaging in a short pursuit, officials said.
After making a turn, the gunman got out of his vehicle, took out a rifle and “laid in wait” for the deputy, officials said Wednesday, calling the incident “an ambush situation.”
As the deputy caught up, the gunman fired multiple rounds.
The deputy is in stable condition at a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, officials said.
Dicus added Wednesday evening that the four-year veteran of the department is still being treated for facial injuries and a possible gunshot wound to his arm, but he is doing “very well,” and is expected to be released from the hospital this week.