A California deputy was shot and killed in the line of duty on Friday, the second fatality in two weeks, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.
Darnell Calhoun, 30, leaves behind a pregnant wife and a grieving community still reeling from the Dec. 29 murder of Deputy Isaiah Cordero during a traffic stop, Sheriff Chad Bianco said during a news conference on Friday night. .
“I shouldn’t be here tonight having to do that again,” Bianco said. “Unfortunately, we are in an age where there is a growing population that has absolutely no respect for other people. They have zero respect for authority. They have zero respect for law enforcement.”
Cordero’s murder was the first on-duty murder of a Riverside congressman in 20 years, Bianco said.
“Across the country, we are facing these situations with armed individuals who, over what appear to be minor disagreements, are willing to engage with law enforcement in life-or-death shootouts all too often.
“Unfortunately, I will tell you that we will get through this. We will stand tall. And we will go back to work and fulfill another service order that could put our lives on the line again.”
Calhoun was responding to a domestic violence call related to a child custody issue when he was killed, Bianco said. Calhoun was the first officer on the scene. A second officer arrived and found Calhoun lying in the street with gunshot wounds.
A shootout ensued between the second officer and the suspect. The suspect was shot and taken to a hospital where he was in critical condition, Bianco said.
Calhoun joined the department in February 2022 after spending two years with the San Diego Police Department. He was assigned to the Lake Elsinore station, Bianco said.
Calhoun’s widow is pregnant, Bianco said.
“He was a husband, a son. He would have been a father,” the sheriff said hesitantly. “There isn’t one person with a negative thing to say about him. He was the happiest, most positive, good, healthy man you could imagine.
“He has a fantastic family. In February, when he was sworn in, I hugged his mother and promised I would take care of him.”
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