Slain Sacramento officer had been on force just 6 months


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A man suspected of fatally shooting a Sacramento police officer surrendered after a standoff in which he repeatedly fired his rifle, preventing officers from reaching their wounded colleague for nearly an hour, authorities said Thursday.

Officer Tara O’Sullivan, 26, was gathering evidence in a domestic violence case at the home where she was shot Wednesday evening, police said in a statement.

“We are devastated tonight,” Deputy Chief Dave Peletta said. “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.”

The suspect, who has not been identified, was taken into custody around 2 a.m.

O’Sullivan had been on the force for just six months and was still completing her training with another officer when she was killed. She died at UC Davis Medical Center.

She had been helping a woman collect her belongings to leave the home when the shooting occurred, police Sgt. Vance Chandler said.

The standoff lasted about eight hours.

“Our officers maintained cover in safe positions until we were able to get an armored vehicle in the area,” Chandler said.

The other woman was not hurt, and the relationship between her and the gunman was not immediately known.

Heavily armed police from several agencies swarmed the neighborhood during the standoff and residents were told to stay away.

In a post on his Facebook page addressed to O’Sullivan’s parents, Mayor Darrell Steinberg wrote that O’Sullivan was in the first graduating class of a groundbreaking program at Sacramento State University that “emphasizes the importance of inclusion and cultural competence for future law enforcement leaders — of which Tara undoubtedly would have been.”

O’Sullivan, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, graduated from the police academy in December.

Before that, she worked with the Police Department as part of a community service program providing crime prevention support. She graduated from Sacramento State with a degree in child development a year ago.

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