Site of the shooting in Calimesa

The Calimesa Inn and Motel has do not enter tape restricting access during the investigation into the shooting.

At approximately 6:10 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5 Riverside County Sheriff deputies contacted two males who were standing next to a parked vehicle near the 1200 block of Calimesa Blvd. because they believed the two subjects were engaging in an illegal narcotics activity.

The deputies exited their patrol vehicle to make contact with the males. One of the males immediately followed the deputies’ orders and was detained, while the other male sat down inside the vehicle ignoring the other deputy’s commands. During that contact, the subject who was seated in the vehicle removed a handgun from his pocket and an officer involved shooting occurred.

The suspect, John Sawyer, 36, of Yucaipa died at the scene. No deputies were injured and per department policy the involved deputy will be placed on paid administrative leave.

During the investigation, the weapon was determined to be a replica handgun. A semi-automatic SKS-type assault rifle was also found in the vehicle.

Investigators from the Cabazon Sheriff's Station and the Riverside County Sheriff's Central Homicide Unit responded to the scene and assumed control of the investigation. This is an active investigation, and no further details will be released at this time. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Investigator Dusek at the Riverside Sheriff's Central Homicide Unit (760) 393-3531 or Investigator Lane with the Cabazon Sheriff's Station (951)-922-7100.Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff's Homicide Tipline online form.


(4) comments




It is not stated in any articles he pointed a weapon at ANYONE.These cops need to stop pulling the trigger so easily. He didnt deserve that. He was someones son, father , brother, nephew, cousin. He was family to many and touched many people's lives. Any negative comments or . Thoughts please keep those to yourself and be respectful to his mother and father. Thank you in advance. Ill miss you Dukess. Forever and always.


You think an officer needs to wait how long? Think about the decisions that have to be made in a split second. Brandishing a weapon, even a replica, can obviously lead to an injurious or fatal outcome. Also, there was an AK assault rifle in the vehicle. Not a replica. It's too bad those guys were up to no good.


I notice that the cops did not say if he pointed the gun at them or actually threatened them. It seems to be happening more and more that mere possession of a firearm, as opposed to actually threatening anyone, is reason for a cop to kill.

This is very troubling.

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