Needles Sheriff Deputies Attempt Traffic Stop 

Lethal Force 

Leads to Suspect’s Death



September 5, 2022__  San Bernardino County Sheriff Deputies assigned to the Needles Station conducted a traffic stop of a maroon, Toyota Scion, occupied by two people. Just after 3:00 P.M. Saturday, September 3, 2022 the two Sheriff Deputies discovered the passenger of the vehicle was a protected person in a court-ordered domestic violence restraining order against the driver, Nikolas McPheter.     

When the deputies attempted to detain McPheter, he resisted, and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, McPheter gained control of a deputy’s firearm and a lethal force encounter occurred. 

McPheter was struck by gunfire and was pronounced deceased at the scene.  

The Sheriff’s Specialized Investigations Division – Homicide Detail responded and assumed the investigation.  

This investigation is ongoing an no further information is available for release. Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Homicide Detail at 909-890-4908.  

Callers wishing to remain anonymous should call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or go to