MORONGO VALLEY — A 34-year-old man was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies who say he pointed a gun at them at the end of an hours-long standoff at his home Tuesday.
Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said the incident began at 8:16 a.m. when a man called law enforcement saying he heard gunshots and believed they may have been directed at his house.
A news release from the sheriff’s headquarters states deputies arrived at the scene and heard someone shooting behind a house in the 53500 block of Cactus Flower Road, just west of the shooting range.
Moments later, Jacob Cato, 34, of Morongo Valley walked to the front of the home, then went inside.
“All morning he was refusing to cooperate with deputies,” Bachman said.
A sheriff’s helicopter circled overhead, the crew making announcements telling the man to surrender.
The Special Enforcement Division’s SWAT team was called in to help negotiate or get inside the house.
Just before 1:30 p.m., the news release states, Cato walked out of the house and pointed a gun at deputies. One or more deputies fired, hitting Cato. Medical personnel pronounced him dead at the scene.
By around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, a helicopter had landed near the property, while sheriff’s patrol units and ambulances circled around. Previously, ambulances and a medical engine from the fire department were staging a few blocks away.
Parked on a nearby driveway was a truck that appeared to be from the SWAT team. The Sheriff’s Department helicopter still circled overhead.
Emergency responders used the shooting range near the property as the incident command center.