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Redlands Man Arrested for Shooting Deputy in Hesperia

Redlands Man Arrested for Shooting Deputy in Hesperia

HESPERIA – A 37-year-old Redlands man was arrested for the attempted murder of a Victor Valley Station deputy. On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at around 11:16 p.m.

Victor Valley Station Deputy Higgin, age 25,  responded to a call reporting a strong arm robbery at the Chevron Station on Ranchero Road. Authorities received information that the suspect stole items from the store and assaulted the employee before fleeing in a dark-colored Chrysler. Deputies began investigating and conducted an area search for the suspect vehicle.

Deputy Higgins returned to the Chevron at 12:38 a.m. and saw a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle. Deputy Higgins attempted to make contact with the person in the vehicle while commanding him to exit the vehicle with his hands up. The suspect, later identified as 37-year-old Kenneth “Kenny” Welch, of Redlands, failed to comply causing Deputy Higgins to deploy pepper spray. The suspect began shooting, striking the deputy in the chest. Deputy Higgins, who was wearing a body armor, went back to his vehicle and shot back.

The suspect fled heading northbound on Escondido Road. Deputy Higgins followed and eventually lost visual when he reached Escondido and Muscatel. After losing the suspect, Deputy Higgins stopped to check his chest due to pain. He was transported to the hospital where he was treated and released. Although the body armor saved his life, he did sustain significant trauma to his chest.

Further investigation revealed the suspects identity with his last known address being on Colton Avenue in the City of Redlands. Being that Welch was considered armed and dangerous, the Specialized Enforcement Division (SED) assisted in making contact at the residence. Welch was located near the home and was taken into custody.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact Sheriff’s Homicide Detail, Detective Mark Green at (909)387-3589. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

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