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Investigation continues into killing of Davis police officer

AENN: The name of the suspect in the Natalie Colman murder has not been released despite numerous calls to the Davis Police Department. A description has been released which describes the suspect as a 6’2″ white male.

Davis Police Department advises to go to their website department for additional information.

The investigation into the shooting death of Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona, 22, is continuing today.

Corona was killed Thursday night while she investigated a three-car crash near downtown, promoting a major response from other law enforcement agencies throughout the region.

The suspect was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a home near 5th and E streets in Davis.

Corona died at the UC Davis Medical Center where she had been taken for treatment, according to Lt. Paul Doroshov.

“As she was investigating it,” Doroshov told reporters of the three-car crash, “for some reason shots rang out. She was struck.”

On Friday morning, Doroshov told reporters they don’t believe the suspect knew Corona and also were not sure if he was involved in the accident.

Doroshov also didn’t know if Corona was still in her vehicle when the shooting took place and whether the suspect was a resident of the house in which his body was discovered.

Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona, 22, was shot and killed Thursday night while she investigated a three-car crash in downtown Davis.

She was the first Davis police officer to die in the line of duty since 1959, according to members of the Davis City Council as well as Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor, who spent much of the night with other Davis community officials.

She graduated from the Sacramento Police Department’s Training Academy last July, but had been with the Davis Police Department since 2016, first as a community services officer. More recently she worked as an unpaid volunteer after the department ran out of funding for her paid position. She was also a graduate of Woodland Community College, studying the administration of justice. She was a native of Arbuckle, graduating from Pierce High School in 2014.

The suspect, who has not been officially identified, was described as a white male in his 20s, standing 6-foot-2, and weighting 190 pounds, with brown hair and an average build. He was reported to have been wearing a baseball cap, black jacket, blue or tan jeans and black, tactical boots. Whether he was involved in the actual car crash has not yet been reported.

Email and text alerts, which went out through the community after the shooting later reported on the death of the gunman and the lifting of the “shelter in place” order. However, the UC Davis WarnMe text/email alert system for students apparently failed. Messages from UC Davis didn’t come until around two hours after the shooting, although there were some alerts that came specifically from the UC Davis Police Department.

“(Natalie) was just an absolute star in the department and somebody that pretty much everybody in the department really looked to as a close friend, a sister,” Police Chief Darren Pytel told reporters Thursday. “And I’ve heard her described by our officers tonight as our daughter and our friend and our sister that we all wanted. This is just an absolutely devastating loss to the police department.”

Woodland, Vacaville, Dixon and Fairfield police and the Yolo and Solano county sheriff’s offices were among the law enforcement agencies that responded to the reports of an officer down in Davis. The city was effectively sealed off with downtown businesses locked down and searched and people told to stay away. As of early Thursday morning, Woodland police were starting to be released from the scene, where they were providing assistance.

Woodland police provided over 20 officers throughout the night in various capacities, according to Sgt. Dallas Hyde. The effort included scene security, search teams and intelligence. Officers from across all divisions responded, including those in patrol, investigations, street response team, traffic, K9 and supervisors.

“We are continuing to send two person teams to assist in any capacity needed while the investigation continues,” Hyde reported Friday afternoon.

Davis police closed the area near 5th and C streets in Davis, after a police officer was shot on Thursday night. JOSE LUIS VILLEGAS-THE SACRAMENTO BEE VIA THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Although details are still emerging, the incident occurred around 6:45 p.m. when Corona was investigating the three-vehicle crash on 5th and D streets in downtown Davis. At some point gunfire rang out, police said, and Corona was struck, according to officials. The suspect ran off and Corona was rushed to UCD Med Center in Sacramento.

By 9:30 p.m., police vehicles with lights and sirens activated continued to flood the freeways en route to Davis. Interstate 80 exits to Richards Boulevard and Olive Drive were blocked to civilian traffic, as were thoroughfares in central Davis.

It’s standard practice for Davis officers to wear body cams during their shifts. It was unclear as of Friday afternoon whether or not Corona had one recording at the time of the shooting.

Area residents, including those at UC Davis, were told to shelter in place while others were advised to stay away during the incident.

For several hours, tactical teams from various agencies went going door to door in search of the suspect. By night’s end, a residence just across the street from the crime scene at 5th and E streets had been surrounded and its occupants ordered to surrender. The suspected shooter was later found dead inside.

Davis police mourned the death of their young officer, the first in the department’s history since 1959, Pytel concurred later during a press conference. She only completed her field training in December.

“Last week, DPD Officers were called out to the new home of a Paradise fire victim who had lost everything. Officers were able to assist the new Davis resident,” the department posted on its Facebook page. “Today, the same officer quietly returned to the residence with a gift of necessary items the fire victim didn’t have access to. We are always proud of the work our officers do, but have a little extra pride today. Davis Police Department-Serve with pride…”

Meanwhile, reaction continued.

Newly elected Yolo County Sheriff Tom Lopez said “it hard to begin to understand the tragic events that transpired in Davis last night. A young police officer living her dream gunned down while assisting others that were involved in a traffic collision. It is an extremely sad day in Yolo County.

“My agency, like many others responded to the call for assistance not only with patrol deputies but SWAT operators and detectives,” Lopez noted. “The Yolo County law enforcement family has come together to provide staffing for the city of Davis for the next couple of days to allow the employees of the Davis Police Department an opportunity to begin the grieving process.”

“I spent several hours tonight sitting with members of the Davis city Council and city of Davis leadership team as news unfolded about the shooting incident that resulted in the death of Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona,” wrote Supervisor Saylor on his Facebook page.

Saylor represents the city of Davis. “Deepest condolences to Officer Corona’s family. This is a tremendous loss to the Davis community and to the city family.”

Saylor said he was proud and grateful for the professionalism and team work shown by city officials. “In coming days we will all learn more about this unfolding story,” he continued. “Tonight suffice to say that the suspect in this shooting is deceased as well, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot. Two lives lost. Thankful that n more suffered the same fate tonight.”

Davis Mayor Brett Lee, on behalf of the Davis City Council, expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Corona saying “The entire City Council is grief-stricken and heartbroken at this senseless loss of life. This incident is a sad reminder of the risks that our public safety employees take every day on our community’s behalf.”

“Officer Corona was well respected, kind and dedicated to the Davis community,” Pytel said in a prepared statement. “Officer Corona had an incredible work ethic, was well liked by her colleagues and was an asset to the Davis Police Department. Her death is a devastating loss for all of us.”

Davis City Manager Mike Webb stated “this tragic event required an extraordinary response from the city’s public safety employees, as well as from our partner agencies across the region. We are grateful for the professionalism displayed by law enforcement, firefighters and medical staff who responded to the incident.”

The last law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in Yolo County was Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Diaz, who was shot while making a traffic stop near the intersection of County Road 6 and County Road 99W on Father’s Day, June 15, 2008. Before that, Woodland are CHP Officer Andrew Stevens was shot and killed on Nov. 17, 2005, also during a traffic stop.

Although she lived in Arbuckle, Corona often in Woodland. She helped plant trees for the Woodland Tree Foundation, members of that group reported.

Her father, Merced, was a retired Colusa County sheriff’s deputy with 26 years of experience and was elected to the Colusa County Board of Supervisors this past November. Her mother has been an elementary school teacher in Arbuckle. Natalie is survived by her father, mother and sisters.

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