Somerset, CA – An El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot and an off-duty San Joaquin County sheriff’s deputy was wounded when they responded to a report of a theft from a marijuana garden on Wednesday morning.
The shootings occurred when El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Ishmael responded to a the call about the marijuana theft from a private home in the area of Sand Ridge Road and Mt. Aukum Road in the rural community of Somerset, the Los Angeles Times reported.
El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon that Deputy Ishmael was accompanied by an off-duty deputy from San Joaquin County who was doing a ride-along when the shooting began.
Sheriff D’Agostini said the suspects “immediately” opened fire on the deputies as soon as they arrived on the scene.
The sheriff said the off-duty deputy “returned fire and “did his best to save Brian,” and was wounded by gunfire in the process.
Radio traffic during the gun battle reflected the desperation of the situation, KOVR reported.
“We have an officer down and we can’t get him out…” one deputy reported.
“…officer down, I need additional people up here by the pool,” another deputy told dispatch.
Deputy Ishmael was fatally wounded by the gunfire.
The San Joaquin County deputy was ultimately transported to the hospital, where he underwent surgery, the Los Angeles Times reported.
He is expected to recover.
Sheriff D’Agostini said two Hispanic men had been taken into custody at the scene.
One of them was wounded in the gun battle and remains hospitalized, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The sheriff warned that the scene remained active because authorities weren’t sure if they had arrested everybody yet.
“At this point we don’t know whether there are any outstanding suspects, and in an abundance of caution we are making sure that the area is safe for residents,” he said.
Deputy Ishmael was a four-year veteran of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office and had previously worked as a police officer for two years in Placerville, the Los Angeles Times reported.
He was remembered fondly by his department.
“Brian worked in this community and lived in this community,” Sheriff D’Agostini said. “He was personable, easy to talk to, kind and always positive. He never had a bad day.”
His former colleagues in the Placerville Police Department expressed their condolences to his sheriff’s department and family.
“We are proud to have had Brian work with us at the Placerville PD. He will be missed," the department posted on social media. "Our prayers go out to our L.E. brothers and sisters at EDSO, and Deputy Ishmael's family and friends. God Speed Brian."
Deputy Ishmael is survived by his wife and three children, the Los Angeles Times reported.
He is the first El Dorado County deputy to die in the line of duty since 1991, KOVR reported.