SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA- Heartbreaking news out of California, where we’ve just learned that a search and rescue volunteer trying to find a missing hiker has died.

Things started going south on Saturday, when around 1 p.m. a frantic call came in.

A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue team member radioed and advised he was separated from his partner, Timothy Staples.

About a half hour later, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter responded to search for the team members.

Police said the helicopter found Staples unresponsive in an area of ice and snow.

They lowered a medic too him but police said it was too late – he was already dead.  They brought his body into the helicopter and brought it out of the wilderness.

Shortly after, the surviving team member was hoisted from the mountain and returned to the command post.

The sheriff’s department said Staples and his partner were part of the ongoing search efforts to locate missing hiker Sree Mokkapati.

Staples was part of a huge team – he was one of the 126 people working in 23 teams searching large sections of Mt. Baldy.

Police said he was a dedicated volunteer and a 9-year veteran with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – Search and Rescue Team assigned to the West Valley Search and Rescue Unit.

The sheriff’s department said investigators are now conducting interviews and trying to get to the bottom of what happened.  For now, all remaining search teams have been recalled from the mountain.

“The initial search operation for Mr. Mokkapati has been suspended and search operations will be reevaluated,” said the department, which thanked the allied agencies for their assistance during this difficult search.

 

Also on Sunday, a Mason County sheriff’s deputy was shot in the line of duty early Sunday morning, according to West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Rodney Miller.

It happened around 4:15 a.m. at a home along the 1300 block of Whitten Ridge Road, according to emergency officials.

Investigators say there had been a call that an 81-year-old man shot his caretaker, a female. When deputies entered the home, a deputy was shot in the face.  

Police say the man who pulled the trigger was Robert McKinley Glenn.

“I saw a police officer go by and shortly after I saw the police officer go by I heard five shots, it was like pow, pow, pow, pow, pow,” said Wendell Chapman, a nearby neighbor.

Troopers say the officer was rushed to the hospital and by some miracle, sustained non-life threatening injuries and is now stable.

“I thank the state troopers and the county (deputies),” Chapman said to local media outlets. “I mean they never know if they’re going to go back home or not when they go out and put that uniform on, they just don’t know.”

Glenn is now faced with charges including malicious wounding and attempted murder.

The woman who was shot by Glenn on Saturday is expected to be OK, according to Miller.

Law Enforcement Today has learned the identify of the officer, but until the agency releases it publicly, we will not be releasing it out of respect for the officer and his family.

We’re also learning more tonight about a separate shooting in Southern California that happened Saturday.

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Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue team member dies trying to find missing hiker

 

 

Police are now telling us that at least three people are dead after a woman barricaded herself inside an Ontario house early Saturday morning.

They said Ontario police responded to a domestic violence call early Saturday morning.  That’s when they found a man, the woman’s husband, in the doorway of a home on F Street.

“The male subject was behind the screen door when they [police] encountered him,” said Sgt. Bill Russell. “As he was stepping out of the way an officer involved shooting occurred.”