Police have arrested a man they say fatally shot a police officer in central California on Sunday, said the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.
Dennis Wallace, a 20-year veteran of the department, was shot twice “in direct contact with his head” in Fox Grove Park, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said.
Wallace was 53 years old. The sheriff said Wallace “was calling in the stolen car to dispatch and then everything went silent. When more officers arrived at the scene he was found dead from two close-range gunshots to the head.”
Police caught the suspect, David Machado, 36, after a manhunt on Sunday.
Machado is suspected of carjacking someone in the nearby community of Keyes after fatally shooting Wallace.
Authorities were able to identify Machado based on the stolen car he was driving, police said.
Wallace did not fire any shots at the suspect; he didn’t even get his gun out of his holster because it all happened so fast, Christianson said.
Machado was also wanted on a warrant for previous felony criminal activity, officials said.
“He is facing murder charges for killing a peace officer. This is a capital offense,” Christianson said. “I will do anything in my power to make sure he ends up on death row.”