EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that left one deputy dead and another injured.
Deputy Brian Ishmael was shot and killed while responding to a call regarding a theft from a marijuana garden at a private residence in Somerset.
“Today, I stand before you with the worst news that we can convey. Early this morning, we lost one of our heroes,” El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini said.
An off-duty sheriff’s deputy from San Joaquin County was riding along with Ishmael at the time.
“That deputy returned fire and did his best to save Brian,” D’Agostini said.
The off-duty deputy, who has not been identified, was taken to a hospital where he underwent surgery. He’s since been released and is helping with the investigation.
Deputies arrested two people, one of whom was shot. His condition was unknown Wednesday afternoon.
The area of the shooting was closed off for hours as investigators combed the scene to make sure it was safe for neighbors.
Aside from countless officers in uniform from other agencies, there were many others who came to hear the sheriff talk about what happened to his fallen officer and offer their support.
Retired El Dorado County Correctional Officer Annette Chavez was in South Lake Tahoe and drove to the sheriff’s office when she learned that her friend and former coworker was killed in the line of duty.
“If you were to look into a dictionary and see the word cop, you’d have a picture of him,” Chavez told FOX40. “He was one of the good ones.”
Jim Reents of Pollock Pines is a retired combat veteran and part of the Star Program, who works closely with deputies. He says no matter the uniform, they’re one big family.
“We need people like these deputies because they’re all out there on the road and I respect them 100%,” he said.
An official memorial fund has been set up for Deputy Ishmael on the CAHP Credit Union website. Click HERE to donate.
Neighbors on edge
“When we looked out there was nothing but sirens, lights and tons of sheriff’s (deputies),” neighbor Leslie Rich said.
The shooting and response was a terrifying way to wake up for neighbors on Sand Ridge Road.
“Oh my Lord, my fight or flight mode kicked in and it was like, ‘Stay calm,’” Rich said.
As investigators collected evidence, homeowners in the area were on high alert.
“If the guys are out there and they shot an officer, they’re not going to think twice about shooting us,” neighbor Jim Kushman said.
Kushman and his wife Kathy said they are keeping their rifle by the front door, just in case another suspect comes knocking.
“So, hopefully, I’d get them first,” he said.
“I got the phone call from the EDSO this morning at 5 o’clock. I got a phone call, I got a text, I got an email saying that they were looking for suspicious people and we should all be on the lookout,” said Laurie Findlay.
All day Wednesday, Somerset neighbors like Findlay had to live with the sheriff’s office warning that other suspects may still be on the loose, while still confronting all that was lost.
“It’s happening way too much and that there’s a lot of disregard for them. And they’re our community and they’re here protecting us,” Findlay said.
“Extremely sad, like Laurie was saying,” said Laura Goodwin of Pleasant Valley. “He was raised around here and he has a wife and three kids and so young. Just horrible, absolutely horrible.”
At the same time, residents hoped none of their neighbors were to blame for Deputy Ishmael’s death.
“But it was an officer that’s here to protect us and it’s a very sad thing the way the world is going nowadays that they’re shooting people left and right for no reason whatsoever,” Kushman said.
Support of all kinds flooded into the county to uplift Deputy Ishmael’s family, like a handmade sign brought to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office from Sacramento police officers and chaplains.
“We’re here for you no matter what and we always will be. That’s what blue families do,” said Cynthia from Thrive with 10-35.