Deputy Sheriff Dennis Wallace, seen here at an award ceremony, lost his life in the course of duty, early Sunday
A suspected cop killer is in custody after he allegedly shot a California deputy twice in the head, at close range say Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.
Police sources say David Machado fatally shot Stanislaus County Deputy Dennis Wallace, 53, after he responded to a call about a suspicious individual in a van in Hughston, Calif., early Sunday.
Addressing the press, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson told reporters
“This was an execution,”
“We believe that Deputy Wallace was killed outside of the car, and we know for a fact that the gun used in this crime was in direct contact with his head when the trigger was pulled twice.”
At approximately at 8:24 a.m, Sunday Deputy Wallace, a 20-year veteran of the force, entered the Fox Grove Recreation and Fishing Access in response to a dispatcher’s call about a stolen vehicle in the area. He immediately requested backup, police said.
By the time backup arrived at the scene five minutes later, they found Wallace already shot
The gravely injured Wallace was transported to hospital were he later succumbed to the injuries he sustained. Machado fled the scene, prompting law enforcement to conduct a manhunt with a felony warrant for his arrest.
The hunt snowballed rapidly. Approximately 20 minutes after the shooting, police got a call of a carjacking in the same [Keyes] community where they found an abandoned van nearby.
The carjacking victim identified Machado, whose distinct look includes a shaven head and a mustache reaching below his chin, as the suspected carjacker of a white 2009 Kia Rio sedan. With an alert issued by California authorities out for the suspect, people were quick to identify him from the photo and call in the tips. Moments later, police got another call of a failed robbery attempt, Machado fled on foot. The cornered suspect surrendered to officers and was taken into custody at the County jail, four hours later.
Police confirmed that they have both vehicles, the van Machado allegedly used to escape from the original crime scene, as well as, the stolen car.
While noting that the investigation still had a long way to go, Sheriff Christianson said during the press briefing that the suspect
“will stand trial and we will seek justice,” adding
“We need to keep the Wallace family in our thoughts.”
Sheriff Christianson called for the community and law enforcement to to stand united while the investigation is ongoing.
“It’s time to stand united with public safety,” the sheriff said. “And to stand together in our nation.”