Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Rookie Davis police officer killed; suspect found dead from self-inflicted wound

Rookie Davis police officer killed; suspect found dead from self-inflicted wound

One of the drivers in the crash, Christian Pascual, 25, said the shooter appeared to have been a bystander who fired from behind him.

A teary-eyed Jose Merced Corona told KTXL-TV in Sacramento Friday that his daughter, 22-year-old Natalie Corona, was extremely proud of being an officer with the Davis Police Department.

While police could not confirm any criminal past or mental illness with Corona's suspected killer, neighbors say they've seen unusual behavior. The chief said as police began to surround it, he stepped outside wearing a bulletproof vest.

The incident began around 6:45 p.m. Thursday with reports of a three-car collision on Fifth Street between C and D streets.

Officials say Corona graduated from the Sacramento Police Department's training academy in July and completed her field training just before Christmas.

Davis police turned the shooting investigation over to the Sacramento Sheriff's Department, which by Friday morning had 14 homicide detectives and crime scene investigators at the scene of Corona's slaying and the home where the gunman apparently shot himself.

Pytel called Corona a "rising star in the department".

"When I looked up and I saw the officer on the ground, he was already walking due west ... just shooting at what looked like random people to me", Pascual added. A woman carrying a backpack found a bullet lodged in her textbook.

Miraculously, no one else was injured - including a firefighter whom the suspect chased after and shot at, hitting him in the boot, Pytel said. At 10 pm a tip was received that the suspect was barricaded in a home near 5th and E streets.

"Today, as we deal with the pain and anger we are feeling about the bad loss of such a young, promising public servant, we should all focus on supporting Natalie's family, her colleagues, and our whole community, including Arbuckle, where Natalie grew up, said Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, whose district includes southern Colusa County". Police have not named the suspect, who was found in a house near the shooting, nor determined what prompted the shooting.

"She would come home, she would be beaming", her father said, his voice quivering. "He shouted some stuff, went back in and came back out with a firearm, then went back inside, pushed a couch in front of the door and officers heard a gunshot".

"We will, without a doubt, miss her dedication and passion for public safety", she said.

Chateri Payne was newly hired as a Shreveport, Louisiana, police officer.

No officers discharged their weapons during the standoff, Pytel noted.

"We know you're inside".

They said it happened in downtown Davis and a suspect is still outstanding.

The shooting touched off a massive manhunt last night.

"We're not angry. We're going to grieve", Merced said.

Do pray for all of Officer Corona's friends and family at this incredibly painful time. "She has absolutely incredible parents, and wonderful sisters".

Meanwhile, plans for laying Corona to rest are still pending.

Nearby firefighters attempted to save the young officer, who was rushed to UC Davis Medical Center where she later died of her injuries.

"That's a very hard detail for the officers, but something that's very important to us", Pytel said, adding that chaplains and trauma-support counselors have been enlisted to help Corona's grieving colleagues.

Pytel declined to release the name of the gunman, noting that the attacker's only previous contact with the department came a year ago when he was the victim of a crime that the chief said was "nothing that was extraordinary at all", the Sacramento Bee reported.

Inside the department, Corona's coworkers spent the day sharing their memories of her.

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