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Motive for slaying of California policewoman still a mystery

14 January 2019
Motive for slaying of California policewoman still a mystery

The 22-year-old had just completed her field training in December after graduating from the Sacramento Police Academy back in July 2018.

Friday evening Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel said there was still no motive for the shooting, but that "This clearly looks to us like an ambush".

Reporter Hannah Darden tweeted at about 11:15 p.m. PT that police reportedly had the suspect cornered inside a home.

"Natalie was the very first person that we hired in this program", Pytel continued. "And now she's become yet another officer killed in the line of duty It's sickening".

"She was the best of us", said Davis officer Mike Yu, after placing a "Blue Lives Matter" flag at the crime scene, about a mile from the police station. She was one of six new officers sworn in by Pytel on August 2.

"Natalie was just full of life and full of energy and just an absolute pleasure to be around", Chief Pytel said. "She is very excited to be a police officer and is very dedicated to the profession of law enforcement".

"This was the job that she was meant to do".

In October 2016, two years before she would be killed in the line of duty, Corona took to Facebook to share an image of herself holding up a "thin blue line" flag, a symbol used by law enforcement to commemorate fallen officers, along with a message of thanks for cops around the country.

"I was extremely proud".

He told a story of his daughter's enthusiasm for her chosen career.

"That's a very hard detail for the officers, but something that's very important to us", Pytel said.

"When I worked in law enforcement, I didn't so much fear for my own safety".

"She died doing what she loved to do in the city she wanted to be in", said her father.

He pinned his daughter's badge on her at the academy graduation just six months ago. "She was always happy, no matter the challenge, she would always face it with a smile".

"Times have changed. It's gotten more violent", said Corona. Corona prevailed, he said, because of her strong desire to serve in uniform. She grew up in a tight-knit family in the Northern California town of Arbuckle. "It was one of her true passions to do this".

The fatal shooting by the suspect who would apparently kill himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound has left both Corona's friends and the small town she protected reeling. Corona was a longtime ARPD employee and volunteer. "She knew that was a possibility and I think she embraced that", her father said. "She had a caring heart".

"She would come home, she would be beaming", her father said, his voice quivering.

"He didn't show any sign that he was involved in the incident", Pytel said, and even went outside to watch as police from around the region began rushing to the shooting scene.

They said it happened in downtown Davis and a suspect is still outstanding.

Arbuckle is a small community, where nearly everyone knows everyone. But I made a decision to stand tall on my dream.

His hope is that people remember his daughter for her kindness and dedication.

The student added: "I just knew that I had to get out of there once I saw the gun and what was happening..."

"I just watched him basically shoot at the firetruck, dump a clip and put another one in, then just start walking down (the) street like it wasn't nothing", Kingston told The Associated Press. "For her and for us".