A police officer with only six months on the job has been killed after being shot as she tried helping a woman retrieve belongings from her California home, officials said.
Sacramento Police were called to disturbance between a man and a woman at a home on Esperanza Drive about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday. Officers met the woman again to accompany her back to the house to get some of her things about 5:40 p.m.
Less than a half hour later, cops on the scene reported shots had been fired.
Officer Tara O’Sullivan, 26, had been struck by a gunman believed to be armed with a rifle, police said.
The suspect, identified by CBS Sacramento as 45-year-old Adel Sambrano Ramos, allegedly continued to sporadically fire at the other officers on the scene, who were made to take cover as they worked to evacuate nearby residents from the area.
O’Sullivan lay wounded for about 45 minutes until Sacramento Police brought in an armored vehicle to rescue her, The Associated Press reported.
They rushed her to a local hospital, but O’Sullivan was unable to be saved.
“We are devastated tonight," Deputy Chief Dave Peletta said at a news conference. "There are no words to convey the depth of sadness we feel or how heartbroken we are for the family of our young, brave officer."
Crisis negotiators worked for hours to convince Ramos to surrender, and at 1:54 a.m., he finally was taken into custody.
Five officers who fired their weapons during the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave, as per protocol, officials said. The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office, the city attorney's office and the Office of Public Safety Accountability is investigating the incident in conjunction with the department’s homicide detectives, internal affairs and crime scene investigation units.
O’Sullivan graduated from the police academy in December after studying at Sacramento State University, authorities said.
Before she entered the academy, O’Sullivan studied child development at Sacramento State and was in the first graduating class of the Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars' Program, a program that underscores inclusion and cultural competence in law enforcement, Mayor Darrell Steinberg said.
“To Tara’s parents and family, and Tara’s fellow officers, I am so sorry,” Steinberg said. “As a father I am grieving with you. As Mayor of the city she swore to protect, our city is heartbroken and we are here for you every step of the way.”
O'Sullivan is the second young woman to be killed months after graduating from Sacramento Police Academy.
Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona, 22, was fatally shot in January after responding to a car crash, KVOR-TV reported. She had graduated from the academy in July.