Riverside PD released footage of a fatal shooting of a wanted murder suspect who killed a deputy
A man described as a three-strike felon gunned down a Riverside County sheriff’s motorcycle deputy during a traffic stop in Jurupa Valley on Thursday, Dec. 29, before law enforcement officers shot him to death in Norco at the end of a massive pursuit through the Inland Empire.
Deputy Isaiah Cordero, 32, who had been on the coveted motorcycle assignment for only three months, was killed as he walked up to a black pickup on Golden West Avenue at about 1:45 p.m. near Rustic Lane Elementary School in the Rubidoux neighborhood.
Cordero was rushed to Riverside Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead as worried law enforcement officers waited outside.
“I’m deeply heartbroken to share with you that we lost one of our own today who was killed while serving his community,” Sheriff Chad Bianco said at a nighttime news conference at the Sheriff’s Department headquarters in Riverside.
Bianco identified the gunman as 44-year-old William Shae McKay, who San Bernardino County Superior Court records show has at least 12 criminal convictions, including five felonies. In March 2021, McKay was arrested in an incident in which a passenger in his car stabbed a California Highway Patrol K-9.
In McKay’s latest conviction, for kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, the San Bernardino County judge — instead of sentencing him to 25 years to life in prison — lowered his bail, which allowed him to go free, Bianco said. McKay then failed to appear for his sentencing. He was re-arrested and then allowed to go free pending his sentencing, Bianco said.
“This terrible tragedy should have been prevented by the legal system. We would not be here today if the judge had done her job,” Bianco said. “Nothing is more heartbreaking than losing a son in a senseless manner when they are living their life for others, serving their community.”
Cordero apparently was not able to radio dispatchers that he had been shot. A witness called 911 and attempted to help the deputy, Bianco said.
The Sheriff’s Department obtained a description of the pickup that led them to an area of San Bernardino County near the 15 Freeway. McKay fled officers, driving north on the 15 toward Fontana and then south on the 15 and east on the 60 Freeway. He exited at Rubidoux Boulevard and headed back west on the 60, where he ran over a spike strip near Valley Way.
Witnesses said the gunman was waving at other motorists as he drove south on the 15 with a phalanx of law enforcement vehicles — including Bianco’s — on his tail.
At least one of the tires was flattened, but McKay kept driving. He headed south on the 15, where he crashed at Fifth Street. Officers rammed the pickup with an armored vehicle and exchanged gunfire with McKay, killing him, Bianco said.
The southbound 15 was shut down at Sixth Street, where motorists were detoured off the freeway, resulting in a miles-long traffic jam, stretching all the way back into San Bernardino.