Bishop Man Wounded After Pointing Gun Toward Police

Staff Writer

A Bishop man has been flown out of the county for medical care after he was shot by a Inyo County Sheriff's deputy early Thursday morning, Aug. 26.

The incident occurred at approximately 3:23 a.m. during routine patrol in the Bishop area, when an Inyo County Sheriff’s deputy was flagged down on Winuba Lane by a female who reported that she was the victim of domestic violence.

The victim said that the suspect was Raymond Bencoma III; Bencoma (a 41-year old Bishop man) is a parolee and is known to law enforcement through his past violent crimes.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s deputy requested back-up assistance; Bishop Police and CHP responded.

As the deputy approached the home where Bencoma was reported to be staying, the suspect appeared from behind an out-building and pointed a semi-automatic handgun at the Sheriff’s deputy. The deputy fired and struck the suspect. The suspect was transported to Northern Inyo Hospital for emergency treatment and was subsequently flown out. A loaded handgun was recovered at the scene.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with the Bishop Paiute Tribal Police, and both agencies are working together. The Inyo County Sheriff’ Office and Inyo County District Attorney’s Office are currently investigating the officer involved shooting.

“This incident is not representative of our County or our Community,” said Inyo County Undersheriff Jeff Hollowell. This sentiment was echoed by the Bishop Tribal Chairman, Deston Rogers: “This incident is unfortunate, but the safety of our community is paramount.”