A California deputy with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office was murdered in the line of duty on Wednesday morning, Oct. 23, while responding to a theft in South Lake Tahoe.

Four-year veteran, Deputy Brian Ishmael, was called to an area of Sand Ridge Road and Mt. Aukum Road, NBC News reported. El Dorado Sheriff John D’Agostini said at a news conference it was in response to a theft at a marijuana garden at a private residence.

Ishmael and his follower, a deputy from San Joaquin County, who was not on duty and riding along with him, arrived at the scene then “an unknown number of people” opened fire on them. Ishmael was shot and killed. The other deputy was hit during the battle with the suspects. He underwent surgery at a local hospital and has since been released, D’Agostini said.

Two suspects were taken into custody and “scene is still active,” the sheriff’s Facebook post read. One of the suspects was shot and hospitalized in an unknown condition. D’Agostini said there may be other suspects.

Law enforcement is searching for suspects involved in the shooting. 

Before joining the El Dorado Sheriff’s Office, Ishmael worked as an officer for the Placerville Police Department, according to NBC News. 

D’Agostini described Ishmael as “personable” and “always positive.” He was married with three children.

“He never had a bad day. He was a loving father and husband,” the sheriff said.

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