Deputy shoots, kills unarmed person in Adelanto traffic stop; California DOJ investigating

·2 min read

California's chief law enforcement agency is investigating after a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy reportedly shot and killed an unarmed person in Adelanto in the early hours on Tuesday.

The Sheriff's Department says an unidentified deputy from its Victor Valley station pulled over a driver, who remains unidentified until authorities notify their next of kin, at 2:41 a.m. Tuesday near Highway 395 and Cactus Road.

The driver ran from the deputy, who shot and killed the person, who was later discovered unarmed. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a sheriff's department news release.

The California Department of Justice has taken over the investigation of a shooting that traditionally would be handled by county authorities.

California Assembly Bill 1506 requires that the state investigate all shootings by police that end in the death of an unarmed civilian. The law, which took effect July 1, 2021, makes it the responsibility of a local agency such as the Sheriff's Department to notify the state DOJ immediately when such an incident occurs.

Few details were available Tuesday on the circumstances surrounding the shooting or the current status of the case. The state DOJ declined to comment.

The Sheriff's Department declined to identify the deputy who did the shooting. It says he was "in a single man unit which is normal for our department," rather than being accompanied by a second patrol officer, when the incident occurred.

"The deputy is on paid admin leave which is standard protocol after being involved in a lethal force encounter," a Sheriff's spokesperson told the Daily Press.

Following notification by local authorities of the shooting Tuesday in Adelanto, the state DOJ's Police Shooting Investigation Team for Southern California went to the scene, according to a news release Tuesday by California Attorney General Rob Bonta's office.

"Once the investigation has been completed, it will be turned over to the California Department of Justice’s Special Prosecutions Section within the Criminal Law Division for independent review," the news release stated.

Charlie McGee covers California’s High Desert for the Daily Press, focusing on the city of Barstow and its surrounding communities. He is also a Report for America corps member with The GroundTruth Project, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of journalists in the U.S. and worldwide. McGee may be reached at 760-955-5341 or cmcgee@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @bycharliemcgee.

This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: San Bernardino County deputy shoots, kills unarmed person in Adelanto