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Suspect who shot and killed Sergeant Vaca identified as 29-year-old from Lancaster

YUCCA VALLEY, Calif. ( — The suspect responsible for the murder of San Bernardino County Sheriff Sergeant Dominic Vaca was identified as a 29-year-old resident of Lancaster.

On Monday, May 31, 2021, at 12:33 p.m., deputies assigned to the Morongo Basin Station were conducting extra patrol enforcement for Off-Highway vehicles. 

Deputies observed a male subject, later identified as Bilal Winston Shabazz, near Paxton Road and Imperial riding on a street-legal motorcycle and attempted a traffic stop for no license plate. 

(Bilal Winston Shabazz, age 29, a resident of Lancaster)

Shabazz failed to yield to the traffic stop, and a pursuit ensued.  During the pursuit, Shabazz abandoned the motorcycle and fled on foot through several nearby residential properties. Deputies pursued Shabazz on foot, but he refused to stop. 

Sergeant Dominic Vaca attempted to detain Shabazz, and Shabazz shot at Sergeant Vaca. Sergeant Vaca was struck by gunfire and was airlifted to a local hospital for treatment.  

Despite life-saving measures conducted at the scene and the hospital, Sergeant Vaca succumbed to his injuries.

(Sergeant Vaca served 17 years with the Department and was a sergeant at the Morongo Basin Station.)

After he shot Sergeant Vaca, Shabazz continued to flee and fired at responding deputies. Deputies returned fire, and Shabazz was struck. Deputies immediately began life-saving efforts. Despite life-saving measures, Shabazz was pronounced deceased at the scene.

A loaded handgun was located next to Shabazz. Two additional magazines containing ammunition were found on his person.

Detectives from the Specialized Investigations Division, Homicide Detail, responded to conduct the investigation. It was determined that the suspect had a no-bail warrant out of Los Angeles County.  

No additional information is available for release at this time and the motive for the shooting remains under investigation.

Sergeant Dominic Vaca served 17 years with the Department and was a sergeant at the Morongo Basin Station. SEBA ( Sheriff’s Employees’ Benefit Association) created a fund in honor of Sgt. Vaca’s memory and will be used to help his family. Click here to donate — Fund A Hero” Sgt. Dominic Vaca Memorial Fund. All funds will go directly to Sgt. Vaca’s wife and children. Any help and support are greatly appreciated.

Anyone with information, or anyone who witnessed the incident, is asked to contact Detective Edward Hernandez, Specialized Investigations Division – Homicide Detail at (909)387-3589. Callers can remain anonymous and contact WeTip at 800-78CRIME or

Related Article: UPDATE: San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Sergeant dies after being shot in Yucca Valley

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