Ervin Olikong: What we know about suspect in San Bernardino deputy shooting

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Friday, August 20, 2021
Ervin Olikong: What we know about San Bernardino suspect
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Gang member Ervin Olikong, who was killed in a gun battle with police after shooting a San Bernardino County deputy, had a long criminal history.

HIGHLAND, Calif. (KABC) -- Ervin Olikong has been identified as the suspect in the shooting of a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy on Tuesday.

Olikong was killed after engaging in a gun battle with San Bernardino police officers who were trying to arrest him in Highland the day after the deputy shooting. Two of those officers were wounded in the shootout.

The 34-year-old has been described as a gang member from the San Bernardino area with an extensive and violent criminal history, including time in and out of prison.

Criminal history

Olikong's criminal background includes multiple allegations of robbery and assault. Among the highlights:

In December 2007 Olikong began serving jail time on a two-year sentence for second-degree robbery, according to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation records.

He was paroled less than a year later, in October 2008.

But he didn't stay out of prison long. Records indicate he was back in prison in June 2010 for receiving a stolen vehicle. He made parole for that sentence in December 2010.

The terms of his parole for those two crimes ended in July 2012.

Ervin Olikong is seen in a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation prison photo dated July 6, 2017.
Ervin Olikong is seen in a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation prison photo dated July 6, 2017.

But he returned to prison once again in October 2014, this time on a four-year sentence for inflicting corporal injury on a cohabitant.

He was released for post-release community supervision in July 2017.

San Bernardino police say at the time of the deputy shooting this week he was wanted on an active warrant from 2019 for assault with a deadly weapon.

Deputy shooting

Tuesday's incident began as a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy attempted to make a traffic stop of a driver in a white BMW in the city of San Bernardino. The driver fled and the deputy gave chase.

At one point, the driver turned a corner and, investigators say, got out of his vehicle armed with a rifle and waited for the deputy to catch up. When the patrol vehicle turned the corner, he opened fire. At least 30 shots are heard on surveillance video of the incident.

San Bernardino County deputy shot

A manhunt continued for a gunman who shot and wounded a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy at the end of a high-speed car chase.

The deputy's vehicle apparently caught fire soon after.

The deputy radioed a "shots fired" call and other deputies rushed in to assist as Olikong fled. His vehicle was recovered a short time later.

The deputy was wounded in the face and had shrapnel injuries to the arm but is expected to recover, officials say.

Highland shootout

San Bernardino detectives were able to identity Olikong as the suspect and placed him under surveillance Wednesday morning.

They tried to arrest him in the community of Highland and a gun battle ensued.

Surveillance video shows a white van with SWAT officers inside pulling up next to Olikong's vehicle and activating the sirens. He immediately gets out and begins firing a handgun at the van.

They fired back, killing Olikong. Two officers were wounded. A handgun was recovered near Olikong's body.

A paramedic was embedded with the SWAT team and helped treat the wounded officers before they were brought to the hospital. One of the officers shot had to be rushed into emergency surgery. Both of the wounded officers are in stable condition.

"We don't know why he engaged that deputy in the ambush yesterday, but obviously he has a very violent criminal history and background," San Bernardino Police Chief Eric McBride said.

Video captures gun battle between deputy-shooting suspect, police in Highland

Video from an eyewitness captured the dramatic shootout that unfolded between the suspect and the police in Highland.