Lake Elsinore deputy shot: Jesse Navarro ID’d as suspect in killing of Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Darnell Calhoun

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (KABC) — The suspect in the fatal shooting of a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy near Lake Elsinore on Saturday has been identified in an ongoing tribute to the slain law enforcement officer.

Deputy Darnell Calhoun, 30, who joined the department less than a year ago, was shot Friday while responding to a domestic violence and child custody call in Lakeland Village and later died at a hospital.

Another deputy who responded shot the suspect, 42-year-old Jesse Navarro, and was hospitalized in critical condition, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Chad Bianco announced Calhoun’s death Friday afternoon during a news conference outside Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar.

“I shouldn’t be here tonight doing that again,” Bianco said. “It is with great sadness that I report the loss of another of our deputy sheriffs who was killed in the line of duty today.”

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The Gov. issued Gavin Newsom made the following statement on Saturday morning:

“Jennifer and I are heartbroken at the loss of Deputy Calhoun, a dedicated public servant who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and all those he served at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, who mourning the painful loss of another deputy weeks ago. Deputy Calhoun died a hero and will always be remembered for his bravery and selfless service.”

The incident began shortly before 4:30 pm Friday, when a dispatcher took a call and “in the background she heard voices and it sounded like there was an altercation,” Bianco said.

Deputies were dispatched to the 18500 block of Hilldale Lane, in the unincorporated community of Lakeland Village, which borders the city of Lake Elsinore. Calhoun was the first deputy on the scene, but “we’re not sure about the initial contact,” the sheriff said.

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The second deputy who arrived on the scene found Calhoun injured in the street, according to Bianco. “The suspect was shot, and was shot. The suspect was treated and transported to the hospital.”

“He’s a husband, son. He would be a dad,” Bianco said of Calhoun, adding that the dead deputy’s wife is pregnant.

He said no one has ever had anything negative to say about Calhoun, who joined the Sheriff’s Department in February 2022 after spending two years with the San Diego Police Department.

“He’s always been so positive,” Bianco said, adding that Calhoun has a “great family.”

“I remember when he was sworn in,” said Bianco, briefly overcome with emotion. “I hugged his mother and told her I would take care of him.”

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Late Friday, a procession of law enforcement officers took Calhoun’s body from Inland Valley Medical Center to the coroner’s office in Perris.

On Saturday, California Attorney General Rob Bonta also offered his condolences.

“Deputy Darnell Calhoun represented the best of the California spirit – protecting and serving the public with courage,” Bonta said Saturday. “On behalf of the nearly 6,000 men and women in the California Department of Justice, I extend our deepest condolences to Deputy Chalhoun*’s family, his colleagues, and the entire Riverside community. His service and sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

Funeral services are pending.

In late December, another Riverside County deputy, Isaiah Cordero, was shot and killed in an encounter with a felon with an extensive criminal record. The gunman was shot and killed in that incident after a chase.

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