(CNS) – A Riverside County sheriff’s deputy gunned down by a felon during a traffic stop will be honored Friday by colleagues, fellow law enforcement officers, friends and loved ones at a public memorial service in west Riverside.
Deputy Isaiah Cordero, 32, was killed last week in Jurupa Valley. A procession paying tribute to the fallen lawman is slated to begin about 10:30 a.m. at Acheson & Graham Mortuary, 7944 Magnolia Ave., en route to Harvest Christian Fellowship, 6115 Arlington Ave.
A two-hour memorial is set for 11 a.m. at Harvest, where the ministerial staff will pay homage to Cordero, along with his friends, colleagues and family. The service will be followed by a private burial at an undisclosed location.
According to Harvest, Friday’s service will be livestreamed via the church’s portal: http://www.harvest.church. The service additionally will be broadcast via the sheriff’s social media pages — Facebook and YouTube — as well as the agency’s main website: www.riversidesheriff.org.
Cordero’s is the first line-of-duty death involving a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy in 15 years.
A “Help A Hero” fundraiser for his loved ones topped $100,000 on Wednesday. The original goal was exactly that amount, prompting the page sponsor, the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Relief Foundation, to establish a new goal of $200,000. The fundraiser will expire in March. The page is at https://helpahero.com/campaign/deputy-isaiah-cordero.
Cordero was killed about 1:45 p.m. on Dec. 29 in the 3900 block of Golden West Avenue, near Rathke Drive. The gunman died two hours later in a freeway gunfight with deputies.
Cordero began his career as a correctional deputy, working the county jails from 2014 to 2017. He attended the sheriff’s academy again in 2018 to serve as a patrol deputy and was eventually accepted onto the motor unit, where he worked as a patrolman in Jurupa Valley from September to December 2022.
Sheriff Chad Bianco said the eight-year law enforcement veteran “embodied our motto, `Service Above Self.”‘
“All of our deputies considered him to be a little brother,” Bianco said during a news briefing outside sheriff’s headquarters in downtown Riverside.
The sheriff said Cordero stopped 44-year-old William S. McKay of San Bernardino, a three-strike felon, for reasons still under investigation but likely related to irregularities with the black pickup he was driving.
According to the sheriff, McKay’s criminal history included convictions for kidnapping, assault on a California Highway Patrol canine and armed robbery.
“This tragedy should have been (prevented) by the criminal justice system,” Bianco said. “This suspect was on his third strike in 2021. But instead of receiving a sentence of 25 years to life in state prison, a judge lowered his bail. He failed to appear for sentencing … and the same judge released him again. We would not be here today if this judge had done her job.”
San Bernardino County Superior Court documents show that the judge was Cara D. Hutson, out of the Rancho Cucamonga branch. She was re-elected in June and has been a judicial officer since 2007.
“(McKay) should have been immediately sentenced. The judge allowed him out, and here we are today,” Bianco said.
The felon led a phalanx of law enforcement personnel on a roughly two- hour pursuit that started in San Bernardino and ended on southbound Interstate 15 in Norco, where his pickup crashed after the rear tires, which had blown after going over a police spike strip, caused the axle to fail.
Bianco alleged McKay fired at law enforcement officers as they surrounded him. They returned fire and killed him, the sheriff said.
The deputy is survived by his parents, Gilbert and Rebecca Cordero, along with an older stepbrother.
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