A Riverside County sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot during a confrontation with a domestic violence suspect Friday afternoon at a Lakeland Village home, the department’s second deputy killed in the line of duty in just over two weeks.

“We are devastated to announce the passing of Deputy Darnell Calhoun who was killed in the line of duty this afternoon,” the sheriff’s department announced on its Twitter page just before 8 p.m.

Sheriff’s officials said earlier a suspect was in custody.

“I should not have to be here tonight,” Sheriff Chad Bianco said at a 9 p.m. news conference outside Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar where Calhoun died.

Bianco described Calhoun as a “husband, a son and would have been a dad.”

A dispatcher took a call around 4:20 p.m. and “in the background she heard voices and it sounded like a confrontation was occurring,” Bianco said.

Deputies were dispatched to a domestic violence and child custody call in the 18500 block of Hilldale Lane, just east of Grand Avenue, in the unincorporated community bordering Lake Elsinore, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Calhoun was the first deputy at the scene, but “we’re not sure about the initial contact,” Bianco said.

“The second deputy on the scene found Deputy Calhoun wounded in the street,” Bianco said. “A gunfight ensued with the suspect who was shot. The suspect was treated at the scene and transported to the hospital. He is currently in critical condition.”

Reports from the shooting scene indicated that the suspect may have also been taken Inland Valley Medical Center, but there was no immediate confirmation of those reports.

A host of sheriff’s deputies entered the home on Hilldale Lane with guns drawn in an apparent search effort. It was unclear if other suspects were being sought.

The shooting came 15 days after another Deputy Isaiah Albert Cordero was fatally shot during a traffic stop in Jurupa Valley Dec. 29. The killing of Cordero, a motorcycle patrol deputy, was the first line-of-duty death of a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy in 15 years.

“We are sadly in a time when some people have no respect for other people and no respect for law enforcement,” Bianco said at Friday night’s news conference. “Those people are willing to engage in gunfights with law enforcement over minor things.”

Bianco said there wasn’t one person who had a negative thing to say about Calhoun, who joined the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in February 2022, after spending two years with the San Diego Police Department.

“He was always so positive,” Bianco said.

Bianco also said Calhoun has a fantastic family.

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

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