(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) — Newly released footage shows the dramatic freeway chase and shootout late last year between law enforcement and a suspect accused of killing a California sheriff’s deputy hours earlier.
The suspect was wanted for the murder of Riverside County sheriff’s deputy Isaiah Cordero, 32, who was fatally shot during a traffic stop in Jurupa Valley on Dec. 29. Authorities said the suspect should have been incarcerated under the state’s “three strikes” sentencing law but instead was out on bond at the time of the shooting.
The suspect, identified as 44-year-old William Shae McKay, allegedly fled the scene of the shooting in his black pickup truck and a manhunt ensued.
During a pursuit on several freeways in the area, law enforcement deployed a tire deflation device and armored vehicle, which made multiple attempts to execute a PIT maneuver, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said in a video released on Wednesday showing the helicopter and body-worn camera footage from the pursuit.
Due to a “mechanical malfunction,” McKay’s truck eventually veered across multiple lanes of traffic before coming to a stop on the shoulder of Interstate 15 in Norco, Bianco said.
The suspect was cornered by a BearCat vehicle and fired several rounds at deputies before he was killed by deputies’ responding gunfire, authorities said.
Body-worn camera footage from the scene showed the shootout under an overpass on the highway.
When members of the sheriff’s department’s SWAT team approached, they found McKay dead in his vehicle with a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol that had no serial number, according to the sheriff.
The incident remains under investigation by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, Bianco said. The sheriff’s department is also reviewing the actions taken by deputies in the shooting, he said.
“We take each use of force seriously, and make every effort to de-escalate these situations whenever possible,” Bianco said.
Following the incident, Bianco criticized the actions of a San Bernardino County Superior Court judge that led to McKay being out on bond, despite being convicted on multiple felony charges in November 2021, marking his “third strike.”
Based on the state’s sentencing law regarding repeat felony convictions, he should have automatically been sentenced to 25 years to life, the sheriff said. However, San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Cara Hutson reduced his bail from $950,000 to $500,000, which he posted in March 2022 and was released while his sentencing was continued, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case and requested no bail at the time.
Court records show that on Nov. 8, 2021, McKay was found guilty of false imprisonment, evading a peace officer, criminal threats likely to result in death or great bodily injury and receiving stolen property. He was acquitted of more serious charges of kidnapping and kidnapping to commit robbery or rape in that case. He failed to appear for a court appearance in October 2022 and a warrant was issued for his arrest, court records show.
ABC News was unable to reach McKay’s attorneys in the case for comment.
Cordero’s mother, Rebecca Cordero, called for the judge’s resignation during her son’s funeral last month. The Chino City Council, in San Bernardino County, has also criticized the judge’s actions.
Hutson has not commented publicly on the case. ABC News has reached out to San Bernardino County Superior Court for comment.
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.