Two Riverside County Deputies Killed

Staff Reports

Courtesy: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department; Pictured: Deputy Isaiah Cordero

Eastvale – Two Riverside County Sheriff Deputies were killed in the line of duty within the last month. The first was Deputy Isaiah Cordero who was fatally shot on December 29, 2022, and the second was Deputy Darnell Calhoun who was fatally shot on January 13, 2023. Prior to these incidents, the last time a Riverside County Deputy was killed in the line of duty was in 2003, according to Sheriff Chad Bianco during a press conference.

On Dec. 29, shortly after 2 pm, Deputy Cordero initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle in the 3900 block of Golden West Ave. in Jurupa Valley. As Deputy Cordero approached the vehicle, the driver pulled out a gun, shot Deputy Cordero, then fled the scene. A witness called 911 and nearby residents attempted to assist Deputy Cordero until law enforcement and paramedics arrived, according to Sheriff Bianco. Law Enforcement from Riverside County and San Bernardino County began a massive manhunt and located the suspect in San Bernardino County. A vehicle pursuit continued to Jurupa Valley off the 60 and 15 freeway. The pursuit ended with a single car accident and a shootout, where the suspect was fatally killed. Deputy Cordero passed away that afternoon. 

The suspect was later identified as William Shea McKay, who had an extensive criminal history and was arrested three times prior. However, during his last trial, the judge lowered his bail and allowed him to be released twice, according to Sheriff Bianco. His bail should have been 25 years to life, he added.

Deputy Isaiah Cordero, age 32, was an 8-year veteran of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. He started as a correctional deputy at Robert Presley Detention Center in 2014 and continued at the Larry Smith Correctional Center and Indio Jail. He became a Deputy Sheriff in 2018 and was transferred to the Jurupa Valley Station in 2020. “Deputy Cordero learned from his mother the value of serving and helping others. His goal from the day he was hired was to become a motor deputy,” said Sheriff Bianco. “He was a jokester around the station, and all of our deputies considered him their little brother.”

Deputy Cordero is survived by his parents. His funeral service and procession took place on Friday, January 6 in Riverside.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department posted the following: “We are humbled by the tremendous show of support yesterday as we laid Deputy Isaiah Cordero to rest. From members of the public lining the streets, to the thousands who attended the service both in person and online, to the immense show of law enforcement agencies from across the country, your presence over the past week has kept us going. To the Cordero family: we promise to keep Isaiah’s memory alive. You are forever a part of the tan and green family.”

If you would like to donate to the Cordero family, here is the link to the donation page:

Courtesy: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department; Pictured: Deputy Darrell Calhoun

On the evening of Jan. 13, Deputy Darnell Calhoun answered a domestic violence call in the 18500 block of Hilldale Lane, near Lake Elsinore. Deputy Calhoun was the first to arrive, but law enforcement is unsure about the initial contact. Deputy Calhoun was found wounded in the street by the second Deputy to arrive, according to Sheriff Bianco at a press conference. A gunfight between the suspect and the second Deputy ensued. The suspect was hit, treated at the scene, and transported to the hospital. The suspect is in critical condition and was later identified as Jesse Navarro, 42, of Lake Elsinore. Deputy Calhoun passed away that evening.

Deputy Calhoun served as a Police Officer for the San Diego Police Department for two years and began at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in February 2022.

“Deputy Calhoun’s character as an encourager, a protector and a mentor embodied the Service Above Self pride of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department,” stated the Help A Hero website. “His relationship, love and service to Jesus Christ emboldened his impact on the many walks of life he encountered.”

“Deputy Calhoun, 30, was a husband, a father of two young boys (ages 2 and 4), and a third baby boy on the way. Darnell loved and served Jesus with his church community joyfully. He will be remembered as a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin, a son-in-law, a brother-in-law, and a loyal friend. “

On Jan. 17, the City of Lake Elsinore hosted a candlelight vigil in honor of Deputy Darnell Calhoun. Hundreds of people gathered to remember the Deputy and mourn together as a community. An additional vigil was held on Jan. 18 in the City of Murrieta at the Town Square Park Amphitheater.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office released the following message on behalf of the Calhoun family:

“Since the tragic loss of Darnell, our family has received an outpouring of love and support from our community for which we are immensely grateful. While we are heartbroken, we also celebrate the gift of Darnell – the husband, father, son, brother, and deputy. His life, though cut short, is a blessing. Our faith in Jesus will carry us through this and we know we will be reunited with Darnell once again. His life, his commitment and dedication to his family and his community will remain an inspiration. He was genuine, kind, loyal, and had the heart of a servant. We take great comfort in knowing that Darnell led a life well lived. We are grateful to our community, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, and law enforcement agencies around the country that have uplifted us.

While we respect and are thankful and grateful for the community, we ask that the media respect our privacy during this difficult time. Thank you for your continued love and prayers.”

If you would like to donate to the Calhoun family, here is the link to the donation page:

January 9th was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Please take a minute to tell your local law enforcement how much you appreciate them and thank them for putting their life on the line every day.

The City of Eastvale stated they are “proud to recognize and honor those that serve the Eastvale community! The Jurupa Valley Sheriff’s Station serves the community year-round, keeping us safe at our events, shopping centers, parks, and in our homes. We would not be the amazing city we are without them.”

They added, “Thank you again to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for all that you do and another special thank you to the Jurupa Valley Station for taking such great care of us here in the City of Eastvale!”