‘Rising star’ officer shot to death while responding to crash

Nellie Chapman
January 14, 2019

"The person was behind me and all of a sudden I heard gunshots", Pascual said, noting that he did not believe the gunman to be someone involved in the auto crash.

The suspect's name has not yet been released by the coroner's office.

Stone has called Davis home for most of her life.

The shooting death of Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona Thursday night began with a routine collision that spiraled out of control when a bystander suddenly opened fire on Corona at close range, according to one of the drivers in the crash.

He said the family was at a basketball game for another daughter when he received a call from a relative that an officer had been shot in Davis. Not long after arriving at the scene, Corona was shot.

He says the family is not angry.

Following the shooting, officers launched a manhunt for the gunman in downtown Davis.

Shaun Kingston said he saw the gunman shoot at a firetruck and reload expertly.

Corona is the second, 22-year-old female police officer killed this week. The shooter also targeted a firefighter, police said, but he was struck in the boot and not hurt.

After unloading gunshots, the suspect went to his home nearby and chatted with his roommate without "showing any sign he was involved in the incident", Pytel said.

A photograph published by the Williams Pioneer Review shows her father, Merced Corona, pinning her badge at her swearing-in ceremony in August.

As she made contact with the drivers, the suspect - who was not involved in the crash - "rode up on his bike and was in some shadows on the sidewalk", Pytel said, citing witness reports from the scene. Jose Merced Corona is a retired Colusa County sheriff's sergeant who was elected to the Board of Supervisors last November.

Christian Pascual told The Sacramento Bee that the gunman fired so closely to his right ear that he couldn't hear properly the morning after the Thursday night shooting.

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He says he didn't believe the shots came from someone in one of the crashed cars.

Lyssa Nicole, who trained Corona at the police academy, said the officer loved helping and protecting people.

He said that he ducked and when he looked up, Corona was on the ground and the shooter was "shooting at what looked like random people to me". "22 years old. She'd only been on the force for five months".

At a press conference, Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel said that Corona was "a rising star in the department".

Police said Corona was shot after responding alone to a traffic accident shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday in the city west of Sacramento, a college town home to the University of California, Davis.

Officials announced early Friday he had been found dead inside.

Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered flags at the state Capitol to be flown at half-staff.

Still, Corona said he was proud that Natalie followed in his footsteps by going into law enforcement to serve the community.

She started working for the Davis Police Department in 2016 in community services.

Police found two semi-automatic handguns at the house.

He says being a cop was always her dream. The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department has taken over as the lead agency in the investigation. "The officer sustained a bullet wound and was rushed to the UC Davis Medical Center".

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.

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