Investigators have released more information about an officer involved shooting in El Cajon. Officers say they have found two bodies inside a home on Prince Street.
Investigators say 32-year-old Kevin James Collier opened fire on police on Sunday, after officers came to the home to respond to a domestic violence call. After firing at the officers, investigators say Collier ran back inside the home and set the house on fire.
Investigators announced Monday evening they believe they have found Collier's body and that of his mother-in-law Beverli Rakov inside the charred home. Officers are still waiting on official confirmation from the Medical Examiner's office.
Investigators found the body of an infant in the back seat of a truck parked at the home after the fire. Police believe the body is that of Collier's 14-month-old daughter Rhilee Collier.
On Sunday, El Cajon police officer Jarred Slocum and his rookie partner headed out to a call that seemed routine – a domestic disturbance on Prince Street.
Moments after arriving, the two officers split up to cover as much of the home as they could and then shots were fired.
Slocum, using a large Ford F-150 truck as cover, was struck in the head by one of the bullets. He grabbed his throat and managed to fire off two rounds before staggering off to a nearby fence.
There the officer, who had collapsed on the ground, was helped by his partner Tim McFarland and other residents until paramedics could arrive to get him to a nearby hospital.
The alleged shooter was 32-year-old Kevin James Collier. Property records list him as a resident of the home at 1033 Prince Street.
Friends of Collier’s mother-in-law said Collier appeared to be the perfect husband to his wife Alyssa. The couple had just celebrated the arrival of a baby.
At a recent baby shower, Collier was so affectionate that a family friend longed for "a man like that."
Then, Sunday morning, something changed.
Beverli Rakov swapped text messages with Heather Gooden, a friend who wanted to stop by Sunday and pick up some furniture.
Don’t come by right now was the message Rakov sent.
“Police are here. My son-in-law has taken my grandbaby and disappeared,” Rakov texted her friend of 30 years around 8 a.m. Sunday.
“I’ve never been so scared in my life Heather,” another text said. “He has guns and he’s going to shoot my daughter.”
“He has lost his f—in mind,” she wrote.
Collier was also sending text messages Sunday. According to Lt. Mark Coit with the El Cajon Police Department, Collier told friends and family he had killed his mother-in-law and his infant child.
When officers arrived to the home after 5 p.m. Sunday, Collier fired his gun, hitting Officer Slocum, and ran back into the home.
Soon after, the home went up in flames.
Officers set up a perimeter and began evacuating nearby residents. Firefighters, under police protection, kept the flames from spreading to other homes on Prince Street. CHP officers stopped traffic on Interstate 8 just to the north of the location because of heavy black smoke coming from the property.
When SWAT officers went in the home, the fire was still going Coit said. They confirmed no one was alive in the building. They found one body near the front door, in the garage area.
Investigators have not identified the body and could not confirm if it’s a male or female.
“We have no reason to believe [Collier] didn’t perish in the fire,” Coit said.
Officials did confirm the discovery of a baby, dead of a gunshot wound inside a truck Collier used for work. The truck was parked near the home.
The damage inside the home is pretty extensive. Investigators waited until morning for the fire to cool off and for a search warrant before entering the home.
Although detectives worked through the night, Coit said, there are a bunch of pieces they’re going to have to figure out.
Gooden said Rakov never said anything negative about her son-in-law except on Sunday.
The couple had Rakov’s first grandchild and had just returned to San Diego from New York Gooden said.
Gooden said Rakov’s daughter had filed for divorce last week.
According to court documents, Alyssa Rakov petitioned for full custody and child support of Rhilee Collier last Wednesday, August 17th. A court date to review the petition had been set for December 13.
The document shows Rhilee Collier was born June 22, 2010.
In her petition, Rakov said her husband earned a gross income of $7,916 per month and that “he also receives bonuses." It makes no mention of where Collier worked. Rakov sought $2,000 in monthly child support.
In a narrative included in the filing, Rakov said Collier spent about 20% of his time with the child. “He will say he has 50% custody, but that is not true. He has always worked long hours and, although he is a good dad, he spends very little time with Rhilee.”
The documents showed Alyssa Rakov last worked as a cashier at Barona and at a Sizzler restaurant.
Rakov also wrote, “I am in a very bad position. I do not even have a safe car for my daughter and myself. I am asking for temporary support. We had a very nice standard of living. I need help transitioning to a more stable life style. I am asking for guideline spousal support, or $2,000, until I can obtain employment, housing.
Coit said investigators are still working with Collier’s wife who he said was safe. He was not sure if Alyssa Rakov had heard from her mother.
Coit could not confirm the reports from family friends that officers had arrived at the home eight hours before the shooting on a separate call.
As for the officer injured in the shooting, Slocum is a four-year veteran of El Cajon police. He has a wife and children who requested privacy at this time.
“Prognosis is looking good,” Coit said. “We’re hoping he makes a quick and fast recovery.”
Slocum's in-laws were flown in from Sacramento Sunday night so his wife would have family here said Kevin Maxwell, president of the Police Officers Association.
The Slocums were due to leave on vacation and meet other family members Maxwell said.
Officer Slocum received a Medal of Valor for his actions in an officer-involved shooting four years ago.
McFarland, a January graduate of the academy, is still in his training period with El Cajon PD.
Chase Bank has started a donation fund for Alyssa Rakov. Those interested can donate by mentioning her name or story at any Chase location and then placing the donation.