A search for a man suspected of killing a California deputy at close range Sunday morning has ended after an hourslong manhunt, authorities announced.
David Machado, 36, was taken into custody in Tulare County, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office announced on social media around 1 p.m. local time.
Stanislaus Deputy Dennis Wallace, 53, was responding to a call about a suspicious car and person around 8:30 a.m. when he was shot twice in the head, Sheriff Adam Christianson had said at an earlier press conference.
The 20-year veteran of the sheriff’s department had just enough time to request backup after finding the suspect’s stolen vehicle before he was killed, Christianson said.
“Within seconds he was murdered, he was executed,” the sheriff said of the brazen attack in Hughson’s Fox Grove Park, about 95 miles northeast of San Jose. “We know for a fact that the gun used was in direct contact with his head when the trigger was pulled, twice. This was an execution.”
Christianson described Machado as a known criminal. After fleeing the scene, Machado carjacked someone in the community of Keyes, making off with a white 2009 Kia Rio.
“He was wanted for a felony warrant for felony-related criminal activity and of course he was in a stolen vehicle,” the sheriff said.
Wallace was known for his work in the DARE drug and violence prevention program, and leaves behind a wife and family, Christianson said.
“Dennis had a very special relationship with young people, and a special place in our hearts at the sheriff’s office,” he said.