A veteran with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department was shot and killed in Jurupa Valley Thursday afternoon by a career criminal who later died following a chase with law enforcement, officials said.
The deputy was identified as 32-year-old Isaiah Cordero who had been with the sheriff’s department since 2014.
“He was a jokester around the station and all of our deputies considered him their little brother,” said Sheriff Chad Bianco.
During a press conference Thursday night, authorities identified Cordero’s killer as William Shae McKay, 44, whose last known address was in San Bernardino County.
McKay had an “extensive criminal history” and “violent past” including charges of kidnapping, robbery and multiple assaults, including the stabbing of a California Highway Patrol K-9.
McKay is believed to have shot Deputy Cordero around 2 p.m. on the 3900 block of Golden West Avenue during a traffic stop.
Cordero was hit an undisclosed number of times and McKay fled the scene in a pickup truck. Residents of the neighborhood called 911 and administered first aid until paramedics arrived to transport the deputy to the hospital where he was later declared dead.
The shooting led to a massive manhunt that spanned both Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Once authorities were able to identify McKay as the suspect, a mass alert went out to neighboring law enforcement agencies.
He was eventually located by officers and dozens of law enforcement vehicles that pursued his dark-colored pickup truck, believed to be a Chevrolet Silverado, southbound on the 15 Freeway. The high-speed chase came to an end in Norco just below a freeway overpass.
Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said McKay shot at law enforcement, who returned fire. McKay was hit by gunfire and died at the scene.
Video from Sky5 showed multiple law enforcement vehicles surrounding the pickup, which was disabled after crashing onto the shoulder of the freeway. Bullet holes were visible on the vehicle’s windshield.
Law enforcement officers from various agencies gathered at Riverside Community Hospital to take part in a procession for the fallen deputy, whose body was transported to the county’s coroner’s office.
The Riverside Sheriff’s Association, the union that represents employees of the Sheriff’s Department, was the first to identify the fallen deputy as Isaiah Cordero.
“Today, Deputy Cordero made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty — a debt that can never be repaid,” the union wrote in a release.
Chris Barajas, mayor of Jurupa Valley wrote on social media that his “thoughts are with [Cordero’s] family and all our law enforcement community.”
“This terrible tragedy should’ve been prevented by the legal system,” said Bianco. “McKay has an extensive, violent past and was convicted of his third strike in November 2021. That case involved kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon. Instead of sentencing him to 25 years to life, which should’ve happened, the judge lowered his bail, allowing him to be released.”
He was again arrested for failing to appear at his sentencing along with additional criminal charges, said Bianco.
“We would not be here today if the judge had done her job,” he said.
Governor Gavin Newsom released a statement saying, “Jennifer and I extend our deepest sympathies to Deputy Isaiah Cordero’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time. He served his community selflessly, and with dedication and courage. We owe him our respect, gratitude, and will remember his sacrifice.”
Cordero is survived by his parents, an older stepbrother and his girlfriend.