Rookie Cop Fatally Shot In Downtown Davis, Suspect Later Found Dead

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DAVIS — A  22-year-old rookie police officer responding to a traffic collision was shot and killed near downtown Davis on Thursday night, and a suspect was later found dead.

The officer has been identified as Natalie Corona, who graduated from the police academy in July and completed her field training in December, Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel said during a press conference late Thursday.

“She was a rising star in the department,” Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel said at a press conference late Thursday night. Pytel said Corona was like a daughter and sister to many officers in the department, and her death is “just a devastating loss to the police department.”

Last night Officer Natalie Corona was intentionally shot & killed while responding to a traffic collision. Officer Corona was only 22 years old & had an amazing life ahead of her. Our thoughts & prayers are with her family & friends as well as @cityofdavispd 👮🏻‍♀️💙 pic.twitter.com/t4RyvuEy7i

— CalChiefs (@CalChiefs) January 11, 2019

The suspect in the shooting was found dead inside a home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Corona graduated from the Sacramento Police Department’s Training Academy last July, but had been with the Davis Police Department since 2016, working most recently as an unpaid volunteer after the department ran out of funding for her paid position, according to the Woodland Daily Democrat.

Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the Capitol flags to half-staff to honor Corona on Friday. He and his wife Jennifer called Corona courageous for protecting her community, according to the AP.  “We join all Californians in mourning the loss of this courageous officer and extend our deepest condolences to Officer Corona’s family, friends, and coworkers,” Newsom said.

Corona was shot around 7 p.m., when she went to investigate a report of a three-vehicle crash near 5th and D streets, a residential neighborhood just north of downtown, according to Davis police Lt. Paul Doroshov.

“As she was investigating it, for some reason shots rang out,” Doroshov told reporters. “She was struck.”

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The officer was transported to the UC Davis Medical Center, where she died of her injuries.

After the shooting, officers surrounded a house a block away, near 5th and E streets, where they believed the suspect was hiding, according to the Bee. Police spent hours working to get the suspect out of the house. Eventually his body was found inside inside a home “with what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” according to UC-Davis police.

We are all sickened by the news of Davis Officer Natalie Corona being shot and killed last night. She was doing what she loved like her father before her and was taken from us only weeks into her career. God bless Natalie, her family and her entire department.

— Eddie Garcia (@sjpdchief) January 11, 2019

Shortly after the shooting UC-Davis sent an alert to the campus community with a description of the suspect, describing him as a “while male in his 20s, average build, baseball cap, black jacket, blue or tan jeans, black tactical boots.”

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

Corona, who started her career with the Davis police department as a community service officer, had been patrolling on her own just a few weeks, Pytel said.

When she was sworn into the department in August, her badge was pinned on her by her father, Merced Corona, who had served 26 years with the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office,  the Williams Pioneer Review said.

Natalie Corona was the first Davis police officer to die in the line of duty since 1959, according to the Woodland Daily Democrat.

Corona was a resident of Arbuckle, where her family still lives. Her father, Jose, is 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.  She is survived by her father, mother and sisters.

Check back for updates.

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