California sheriff's deputy shot to death; ride-along passenger injured

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Ishmael.

An El Dorado County sheriff's deputy was shot and killed early Wednesday morning while responding to a call about a theft from a marijuana garden in the rural Sierra Nevada foothills, and the two suspects accused of killing him were taken into custody, officials said. 

Sheriff's Deputy Brian Ishmael, 37, was fatally shot in the community of Somerset and an off-duty deputy from the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office who riding with him was wounded, authorities said. The wounded deputy was taken to a hospital, treated and released. 

After the suspects fired shots at the two deptuies, the off-duty deputy returned fire and hit one of the suspects, who was taken to a hospital in unknown condition, El Dorado County Sheriff John D'Agostini said. 

Officials said Ishmael had been with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office for four years and previously worked for the Placerville Police Department. He leaves behind a wife and three children. 

"Brian worked in the community and lived in this community," D' Agostini said. "He was personable, easy to talk to, kind and always positive."

 It remains unclear why the deputy with the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office was riding along with Ishmael. 

Deputy Andrea Lopez from the said the deputy was not doing the ride-along for any San Joaquin County purposes. She said authorities believe he had a friend in the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office. 
 "We don't know why he was there," Lopez said.

Law enforcement often use ride-alongs for community outreach and engagement purposes.

Following the news of Ishmael's death, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered flags at state buildings to be flown at half-staff.  
In a statment, he said he and wife Jennifer "were terribly saddened to learn that Deputy Ishmael was shot and killed this morning while courageously serving and protecting the people of El Dorado County. ""Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones, friends, and colleagues during this painful time."

The shooting occurred on Sand Ridge Road in Somerset, which is about two hours northeast of San Francisco.  

The scene in Somerset, Calif. where an El Dorado Sheriff's Deputy Brian Ishmael was killed. Oct. 23, 2019

The Associated Press and KTVU's Aja Seldon contributed to this report.