MURRIETA – Police arrested an off-duty Riverside County sheriff’s deputy who is suspected in gunning down a man inside a bar and grill on Wednesday night.
Dayle William Long, 42, a deputy for the past 10 years, was arrested in the death of Samuel Vanettes, 36, a Winchester resident who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to coroner’s records.
It’s the second killing in Murrieta in a two-day span, a city that had not suffered a murder since January 2010.
Police arrived at Spelly’s Bar and Grill at 40675 Murrieta Hot Springs Road just after 8 p.m., detained a man outside the front door claiming to be an off-duty deputy, according to a report.
Officers then discovered Vanettes inside the restaurant suffering from gunshot wounds. Long was detained, held on $1 million bail at Southwest Detention Center in French Valley, according to jail records.
Reports said 25 to 30 people were inside the restaurant when the shooting occurred. It is considered a typical sports bar, family-friendly restaurant not known for any kind of violence, according to police.
Long was taken to Murrieta police headquarters, said Lt. Tony Conrad, who did not disclose any motives for the shooting. “The suspect immediately identified himself to the officers as an off-duty Riverside sheriff’s deputy,” he said.
Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Joe Borja said, “Long’s peace officer powers have been suspended and he’ll be placed on administrative leave if he is released from custody.”
Witnesses told police that the suspect pointed a gun at Vanettes and fired at least three shots at the victim’s chest. Customers ran away or hid once shots were heard.
“The off-duty officer was determined to be the shooter in this incident,” Conrad said. “He was detained without incident.”
This was the second homicide in Murrieta this week. On Tuesday, an 18-year-old Murrieta Valley High School student, Saskia Burke, was stabbed to death in her home, and her father and a friend were wounded. That home, on Milkwood Lane, is about a mile from Wednesday’s homicide.
The suspect in the multiple stabbing case, Gary Simpson, of Oak Hills, fled and is still being sought by police after injuring two other victims.
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