FRENCH VALLEY – The man who was shot to death by an off-duty county sheriff’s deputy last week was trying to act as a peacemaker, a district attorney’s spokesman said on Friday.
Dayle William Long, 42, was charged on Friday with one count of murder after shooting Samuel Vanettes, 36, in a bar and grill restaurant in Murrieta. Long is being held on $1 million bail, according to court records, and faces a special allegation of using a firearm.
John Hall, a Riverside County District Attorney spokesman, said Vanettes was trying to stop an argument between Long and an unidentified person in Spelly’s Pub and Grille last Wednesday.
Reports that Long had been drinking that night were confirmed by Hall, who said toxicology reports are expected to determine if he was under the influence. Vanettes, meanwhile, was unarmed, Hall said. Nor did he act aggressively in his attempt to quell the argument.
Witnesses told police that Vanette’s behavior was not threatening. “He came in,” said Hall, “to try and act as a peacemaker and wound up getting shot.”
Sheriff department spokesman Sgt. Joe Borja said Long is in protective custody at the Southwest Detention Center in French Valley, which is policy when law enforcement officers are housed there.
A 10-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, Long was assigned to court in downtown Riverside. Hall also said that the charges brought against Long came about when investigators determined more about the shooting. On Friday, Long was scheduled to enter a plea on the charges, but the arraignment was postponed at the request of his attorneys.
The shooting occurred shortly before 8 p.m. at the pub located on Murrieta Hot Springs Road. Murrieta police officers arrived minutes later and encountered Long, who identified himself as an off-duty deputy. Inside, Vanette’s body was discovered, having been shot several times.
Hall did not disclose what Long and the unidentified man, who was not injured, were arguing about when Vanettes interceded.
Press-Enterprise: Deputy shot peacemaker in pub, DA says
The Californian: Murder charge filed against off-duty deputy
CrimeVoice: Off-duty deputy arrested in Murrieta shooting