Rookie cop following in dad's footsteps shot at crash scene

Natalie Corona

Davis Police Department officials say Officer Natalie Corona was shot after responding to a traffic accident Thursday evening in the community west of Sacramento.

Some downtown Davis streets remained closed off Friday as investigators tried to piece together what sparked the shooting, which began just before 7 p.m. after Corona responded to a report of a three-car collision.

Corona had just completed her field training a few weeks earlier and was on patrol Thursday when she responded to a triple vehicle accident at 6:45 PM.

Chief Darren Pytel says the suspect rode a bicycle to the scene of a three-car crash in the small college town and fired multiple rounds.

Aguiar-Curry said her heart broke Thursday night upon hearing the news. "Based on how dark it was, we're speculating that she never even saw him".

'The Davis Police Department has not lost an officer in well over 50 years. Nobody else was wounded, although a firefighter at the scene was struck in a boot as he ran and a girl later found a bullet lodged in a textbook in her backpack, the police chief said.

Late Thursday night, officers surrounded a home on 5th Street, calling for someone inside to come out.

"Natalie was just full of life and full of energy and just an absolute pleasure to be around", Chief Pytel said. "He actually stayed outside and was watching what was going on, which was an extraordinary law-enforcement response" involving officers from the Bay Area to Sacramento.

Police say the suspect was later found dead in a house near the shooting.

Davis Mayor Brett Lee said, "The entire City Council is grief-stricken and heartbroken at this senseless loss of life". The suspect was not part of the initial accident, officials said. He later exited a second time holding a firearm to his head, then again went back indoors.

Newsom says he and his wife, Jennifer, are saddened by the death of a woman he called "courageous" who died "protecting her protecting her community from harm".

From his vantage point, across the street, Kingston said he saw the gunman shoot at a firetruck and reload expertly.

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

"We know you're inside".

Asked about the suspect's history, Pytel said his agency has had several contacts with him over the past year when he reported being the victim of crimes - "nothing that would indicate this type of issue".

Corona graduated from the Sacramento Police Academy in July 2018 and completed her training in December.

"So we haven't even started to go through that yet", he said. "She is very excited to be a police officer and is very dedicated to the profession of law enforcement". Her mother is a first-grade teacher, and two cousins are also in law enforcement, Gomez said.

Meanwhile, plans for laying Corona to rest are still pending. Corona was the first officer in the department to die in the line of duty since 1959.

During a dramatic stand-off, the gunman emerged from the house wearing a bulletproof vest, authorities said.

Tonight many remember Natalie Corona, the young rookie who was shot and killed in the line of duty. "The department did a big donation drive with the fires up in Paradise and I know she took a very active role on that".

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