San Bernardino County

Suspected Shooter Identified in Slaying of San Bernardino County Sheriff's Sergeant

Bilal Winston Shabazz failed to yield at a traffic stop while riding a motorcycle with no license plate. A pursuit in the Yucca Valley ended with the death of Sgt. Dominic Vaca.

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department SUVs in the Yucca Valley area.

Authorities have identified the man suspected in the Monday shooting death of a San Bernardino Sheriff's sergeant, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said in a news release.

Bilal Winston Shabazz, 29, also was killed in the desert shootout. He failed to yield at a traffic stop while riding a motorcycle with no license plate, SBSD said. The failure to yield led to a pursuit in Yucca Valley on Monday, about 120 miles east of Los Angeles.

Bilal Winston Shabazz, 29, deceased, was identified by SBSD as the suspect in the shooting death of Sgt. Dominic Vaca on May 31, 2021.

Shabazz then fled on foot, abandoning the motorcycle. He was still pursued by deputies, including Sgt. Dominic Vaca, 43.

Vaca attempted to detain Shabazz, who then shot at Vaca.

Vaca, struck by gunfire, was airlifted to the hospital, where he died due to his injuries. The sergeant had served in the police department for 17 years, and was a father to two daughters — one 11 years old, one 4 months old.

San Bernardino County Sheriff
Sgt. Dominic Vaca, 43, died Monday after a pursuit in the Yucca Valley.

The suspect also shot at other pursuing deputies from the Morongo Basin station, who returned fire and struck Shabazz. Shabazz was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to SBSD, a loaded handgun was found next to Shabazz, and two additional ammunition magazines were found on him. Investigators later determined that he had a no-bail arrest warrant out of LA County.

On Tuesday night, law enforcement colleagues saluted as a procession carrying Vaca's body arrived at the coroner's office.

Investigators are still looking for a motive for the shooting.

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