Three Fontana officers are honored for their work in helping to capture suspect who shot deputy last year | News

Three Fontana officers have been honored for their work in helping to make sure a suspect who had killed a Riverside Sheriff’s Department deputy could not escape capture during an incident last year.

Officers Julio Landaverde, Sam Wooten, and Jose Rodriguez were named the Fontana Police Department’s Employees of the Month for last December.

The incident occurred on Dec. 29, when the Riverside Sheriff’s Department broadcast an urgent message from the Jurupa Valley area regarding Deputy Isaiah Cordero, 32, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop. The suspect vehicle description was broadcast to surrounding agencies, along with the suspect identification. Multiple suspect vehicle descriptions and license plates were broadcast, creating confusion.

About 90 minutes after the original message was sent out, Landaverde broadcast that a solo Beaumont undercover police unit was behind the suspect vehicle in the area of Interstate 15 and Foothill Boulevard. Landaverde was able to work through the various suspect vehicle descriptions and confirm it was the actual suspect.

At this time, Fontana units did not know which radio frequency the Beaumont unit was using and had no updated information on the suspect location. Landaverde was the only Fontana officer who had access to the Beaumont unit’s radio frequency, and he continued updating Fontana units of the current suspect vehicle location. The Beaumont unit was unfamiliar with the area and broadcasting his location incorrectly.

Landaverde was also able to work through this confusion and direct Fontana P.D. units to the correct location. Landaverde’s communication was key to Fontana units responding, and ultimately locating the suspect vehicle and Beaumont undercover vehicle.

Landaverde gave a final update that the suspect vehicle had exited at Baseline Avenue from the southbound Interstate 15 Freeway. Officers Wooten and Rodriguez located the suspect vehicle and immediately initiated a pursuit of the suspect.

Wooten was the primary unit in the pursuit and was giving clear, calm, and concise updates on the suspect’s direction of travel, speeds, and driving behaviors.

“Officers Wooten and Rodriguez showed extreme courage pursuing a suspect who was known to have just murdered a police officer,” said Fontana Police Sgt. Liam Coughlin.

Wooten and Rodriguez were the only two units pursuing the suspect for a period of time.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department units quickly converged on the pursuit and “attempted to force our units out,” Coughlin said. “Recognizing the importance of apprehending this suspect, they calmly remained in the pursuit and avoided colliding with the SBSO units attempting to push them aside. They remained calm and focused despite the recklessness going on around them.”

The Fontana officers continued to pursue the suspect for about 10 miles, ultimately leading to the Route 60 Freeway, where enough Riverside Sheriff’s Department units responded and assumed the pursuit. The suspect was then shot to death by deputies during a gunfight on I-15 near Norco.

“Officers Landaverde, Wooten, and Rodriguez demonstrated amazing teamwork, courage, and the willingness to put themselves in extreme danger to bring the suspect to justice and keep the community safe,” Coughlin said. “The actions of these officers were instrumental in the suspect being apprehended and removed from the community. Without Officers Landaverde, Wooten, and Rodriguez, it is very likely that the suspect would have either gotten away from the solo Beaumont unit, or worse. These officers should be recognized and commended for the outstanding work and commitment demonstrated during this incident.”

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