Canyon Lake man fatally shot by deputies during traffic stop

A Canyon Lake man was fatally shot by deputies after he allegedly took a San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputy’s gun during a traffic stop.

On Saturday, September 3, at 3:14 p.m., deputies from the Needles Station conducted a traffic stop on a maroon, Toyota Scion, near L Street and W. Broadway Street in Needles. Deputies discovered the passenger of the vehicle was a protected person in a court-ordered domestic violence restraining order against the driver, who was identified as 27-ear-old Nikolas McPheter.   

When deputies attempted to detain McPheter, he struggled and gained control of the deputy’s firearm, officials said. McPheter was struck by gunfire and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding is asked to contact the Homicide Detail at 909-890-4908. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or go to


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