Gunman Who Killed Rookie Cop Allegedly Rode Bike To Ambush

More Details Emerge About Deadly Encounter

KCBS Radio Morning News
January 11, 2019 - 8:23 am

DAVIS — The shooter who killed Officer Natalie Corona, 22 in this college town on Thursday fired multiple times at the rookie cop and nearly injured other bystanders, according to police. 

The shooting occurred while Corona responded to a routine car collision in downtown Davis. 

Witnesses said the gunman, whose name has not been released, rode on a bicycle and shot Corona, who fell to the ground. 

The shooter, who later died from what police said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, shot Corona several more times. After reloading, he shot at fire truck, hitting it. A firefighter was struck in the boot while running away. Another bullet struck a pedestrian's backpack while more gunfire hit a house across the street and a passing bus. 

No one else was injured in the barrage, police said. 

Corona, the daughter of a longtime sheriff's deputy, had only graduated from Sacramento's training academy last summer and wrapped up her field training before Christmas. She'd started patrolling the streets on her own a few weeks ago. 

She was "just an absolute pleasure to be around," said Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel. 

The shooting touched off a massive manhunt last night. Police said that they tracked him to a nearby house based on information found in a backpack that he left at the deadly ambush. 

During a dramatic stand-off,  the gunman emerged from the house wearing a bulletproof vest, authorities said. After he returned inside and barricaded the door with a sofa, officials heard a gunshot. Unwilling to endanger personnel, they sent a robot with a camera inside, where they discovered the suspect dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Officials said that at no time did law enforcement discharge their weapons. Police have not announced a possible motive for the carnage.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office has taken over the investigation.

The shocking violence left Davis, a city of nearly 70,000 dominated by the University of California's campus, in shock.

"She just worked like you can't believe," Pytel said about Corona.

Corona’s tiny, rural hometown of Arbuckle, barely known to outsiders before the incident, is reeling from both the loss and the accompanying media converge. The quiet farming community sits just off Interstate 5 in Colusa County, northwest of Sacramento.

The daughter of a sheriff’s deputy and a long-time elementary school teacher, public service runs in Corona’s family. She graduated from Pierce High in 2014, where she was homecoming queen her senior year.

Residents described the town, which has little more than 3,000 residents, as a place where everyone knows everyone, and news travels fast.

“I know her dad, everyone knows who he is. It’s sad, it’s sad,” said resident Pablo Marquez. 

Schools in Arbuckle re-open on Monday, and the school district plans to have counselors on hand for students and staff.

A Davis Police Department honor guard will remain with Corona’s body until her burial.

Pytel described the 60-person agency as “close-knit,” and said a chaplain will be available to console grieving officers and staff.

The shooting came just over two weeks after the slaying of Ronil Singh, an officer with the police department in Newman, a city about 115 miles south of Davis.

Reporting by Holly Quan, Jeffrey Schaub and Veronica Carter.

Written by Jordan Bowen.