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HesperiaStar.com
  • Deputies shoot, kill suspect in Apple Valley

    Shootout occurs at intersection of Bear Valley, Central roads
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  • APPLE VALLEY — Innocent bystanders at the intersection of Bear Valley and Central roads in Apple Valley watched in fear and disbelief Wednesday afternoon as Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies killed a suspect during a shootout near a recycling center.
     San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said the L.A. County deputies were searching for the suspect in the 23000 block of Larimie Street in unincorporated Apple Valley when they saw him in a black Nissan Titan at about 5 p.m. at the northeast corner of Bear Valley and Central roads.
     Bachman said the suspect exited his pickup truck and exchanged gunfire with the deputies. The suspect was hit and pronounced dead at the scene. She said a female L.A. County deputy received minor injuries and was treated and released.
     Apple Valley resident Chris Miller said he and his family were stopped in their vehicle on Central Road at Bear Valley Road when the shooting started. He said he saw an undercover police officer pull out a military-style assault rifle and shoot at the suspect in the desert across the street.
     “We started to hear multiple gunshots and rapid fire,” said Miller, whose pregnant wife and son also were in the vehicle. Their panicked voices can be heard on video as Miller recorded. “Then I realized across the street from the recycling center, in the dirt, at the bus stop, is a man. We watched the guy hit the ground from being shot at. You can see the bullets ricocheting through the desert.”
    Miller captured the scene on video and 30 to 40 shots can be seen and heard.
    A nearby neighbor, Jay Williams, said he saw two helicopters and that one, a Medevac helicopter, transported an injured sheriff’s deputy from the scene. Bachman did not confirm Williams’ report, other than to acknowledge the female deputy received minor injuries.
     The first marked law enforcement vehicle on scene belonged to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, Miller’s video shows. Calls to the L.A. Sheriff’s Department were not immediately returned.
    “I’m not sure if (the suspect) was shooting back,” Miller said. “After all the yelling and gunshots stopped, at least eight undercover policemen came up to him very rapidly.”
     Miller said bystanders could have been caught in the crossfire.
    “There was nothing stopping anybody from driving through the gunfire,” Miller said. “It was a completely out-of-control sting operation. Actual marked police cars didn’t show up until they had this guy on his stomach.”
    The intersection at Central Road and Bear Valley Road was blocked off following the incident. Sheriff’s deputies set up a command post near the movie theater on Bear Valley Road and Bachman said the intersection would remain blocked until at least early Thursday morning.
     She said San Bernardino County homicide investigators were expected to work through the night on the investigation. There was no information released on why the L.A. deputies were searching for the suspect.
    The owner of a nearby hair salon told a reporter she heard the gunshots and deputies detained her for questioning. She declined to give her name and said she was not allowed to talk further until after she spoke with authorities.
    Staff Writer Rene Ray De La Cruz contributed to this story.
    Brooke Self may be reached at 760-951-6232 or BSelf@VVDailyPress.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @DPEduNews.
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