An El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed early Wednesday and another deputy was wounded during a shootout near a private marijuana grow in a rural area just south of Placerville, Calif., authorities said.
Deputy Brian Ishmael was responding to a report of theft from a marijuana garden at a private residence in the Sierra Nevada foothills community of Somerset, officials said. An off-duty San Joaquin County sheriff’s deputy had accompanied Ishmael on a ride-along.
The pair were “immediately” met with gunfire upon arriving at the scene, El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini said at a Wednesday morning news conference.
The off-duty deputy “returned fire and did his best to save Brian,” but Ishmael was fatally wounded, D’Agostini said. The off-duty deputy was also shot. He was released from a local hospital after undergoing surgery.
Two men, who have not been identified, were taken into custody. One of them was shot and remains hospitalized in unknown condition, D’Agostini said.
Authorities said the scene was still active with a large law enforcement presence. “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,” D’Agostini said.
The shooting occurred in the area of Sand Ridge Road and Mt. Aukum Road in Somerset, a rural unincorporated community about 10 miles southeast of Placerville and about 40 miles east of Sacramento.
Later Wednesday morning, a procession of patrol cars escorted Ishmael’s body from a hospital to the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office. Video showed first responders lining overpasses above Highway 50 to salute their slain colleague.
“Brian worked in this community and lived in this community,” D’Agostini said. “He was personable, easy to talk to, kind and always positive. He never had a bad day.”
Ishmael, a four-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, previously worked at the Placerville Police Department. He is survived by his wife and three children.