San Bernardino County

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Sergeant Who Died in Shootout Was Father of Two Daughters

Sgt. Dominic Vaca died following a pursuit that led to a shooting in the desert east of Los Angeles.

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A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s who died following a pursuit and shooting Monday in the desert community of Yucca Valley was a father of two daughters, 11 years old and 4 months old.

Sgt. Dominic Vaca, 43, died Monday night at a hospital. He was shot following an attempted traffic stop and pursuit involving a person on a motorcycle about 120 miles east of Los Angeles. The person on the motorcycle was shot and killed by responding deputies.

Vaca's father said his son was a loving husband and father. He worked at the Morongo Basin Station, a community that residents say is normally quiet and safe.

"It's horrifying," said Kate Everard, a Yucca resident. "You never want to hear that happening to anyone around here."

The San Bernardino County Sheriff said Vaca had served 17 years with the department. Law enforcement colleagues saluted as a procession carrying Vaca's body arrived at the coroner's office.

Deputies from the Morongo Basin station were monitoring off-highway vehicle violations when they spotted a man riding a motorcycle without a license plate. They attempted to stop the motorcycle and a pursuit ensued.

Shortly after, the motorcycle was located, but the rider was gone. As they approached the motorcycle and attempted to find the rider, the man started firing at the responding deputies, the sheriff's department said.

One of the deputies was struck by the gunfire and the responding deputies assisted in trying to locate the shooter.

The man was located and started shooting at additional deputies, authorities said. The deputies returned fire and the man was killed, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff via a video on Twitter.

A handgun was located at the scene.

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