Deputy Bruce LeeRiverside County Sheriff’s Department
On May 13th, 2003, at 0940 hours, La Quinta Sheriff’s Deputy Bruce Lee responded to the 54000 block of Avenida Velasco, regarding a domestic disturbance call. After arriving on scene, Deputy Lee became involved in a physical altercation with the suspect. A second deputy arrived on scene and located Deputy Lee lying motionless on the ground. The suspect exited the residence and advanced toward the back up deputy. The suspect was holding what appeared to be a baton. The deputy backed away and the suspect continued to advance on the deputy in a fighting stance. The deputy un-holstered his service weapon and fired upon the suspect, striking him. The suspect fell to the ground. Moments later, medical personnel arrived on scene and transported both Deputy Lee and the suspect to local area hospitals.
At about 11:15 a.m., the suspect, Kevin Diabo, 24-years-old, of La Quinta, was pronounced deceased at JFK Hospital in Indio, CA.
At 11:45 a.m., Deputy Bruce Lee, a 22 year veteran of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, succumbed to his injuries, due to blunt force trauma to the head, at Desert Regional Medical Center. Deputy Lee was 45 years of age and is survived by his wife.
Sheriff Bob Doyle stated, “Today is a sad day for the entire Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and law enforcement community. Today we lost one of our own, who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Deputy Lee will be missed, but not forgotten. The Sheriff’s Department sends their deepest sympathy to the Lee family and friends.”