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With riderless horse in Rose Parade, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department honors slain deputy

Amid the pop performances and pageantry of the Rose Parade on Monday, Jan. 2, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Mounted Enforcement Detail walked the parade route with a riderless horse — a solemn tribute to the department’s Deputy Isaiah Cordero, who was shot and killed last week during a traffic stop.

The shooting of the 32-year-old deputy has rippled through law enforcement in the days since, as his story — that of an up-and-coming young motorcycle deputy surrounded by fellow deputies who consider him “their little brother” — spread across the region.

A riderless horse trots ahead of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Enforcement Detail during the Rose Parade on Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, days after Deputy Isaiah Cordero was killed on duty in Jurupa Valley. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco, bottom, is seen riding Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Mounted Enforcement Detail in the Rose Parade. (Photo by Brian Rokos, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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He was shot and killed Thursday, Dec. 29, after pulling over a pickup just before 2 p.m. in Jurupa Valley. As he approached the vehicle, the driver pulled a gun and shot him, authorities said.

Read more Rose Parade coverage here.

The driver, identified as 44-year-old William Shae McKay, was shot and killed in Norco at the end of a massive pursuit through the Inland Empire.

Deputy Isaiah Cordero, of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, was shot to death during a traffic stop in Jurupa Valley on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022. (Courtesy of Riverside County Sheriff’s Department)

On Monday morning, the mounted detail marched the 5.5.-mile route. Deputies waved to the crowd, and smiled. Those crowed along Colorado Boulevard clapped as the group passed. But ever present out front was a saddled, riderless black horse escorted by a deputy.

The detail, comprised of specially trained sworn personnel from the department, was established in 2021.

Its mission is to assist and complement the Sheriff’s Department and support civic activities, including charity events, tactical rescues, memorial and honor deployments, and educational events. The unit includes a variety of traditional American equine breeds.

On Friday, Dec. 30, the pre-Parade, annual equestrian event, called Equestfest, paid tribute to Cordero with a moment of silence.

The Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Relief Foundation has started a “Help A Hero” page, on which people can make donations to Cordero’s family.

Related links

‘They shot an officer!’ Woman who aided slain deputy in Jurupa Valley describes ordeal
Riverside County sheriff’s deputy killed; suspect dead after pursuit
Killer of Riverside County deputy had a history of violence, evading police
‘An inspiration’: Jurupa Valley mourns slain Deputy Isaiah Cordero

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