DAVIS — The Davis Police Department reports one of their officers was shot and killed while responding to a multi-vehicle crash Thursday night in downtown Davis.
Around 6:45 p.m., Officer Natalie Corona was investigating a three-car crash in the area of 5th and D streets when someone walked up and began shooting, according to Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel.
The police department reports the 22-year-old officer was shot and rushed to UC Davis Medical Center with serious injuries before she died.
Several law enforcement agencies joined in the search for the suspect, who has been described as a white man in his 20s with an average build. He was last seen wearing a baseball cap, black jacket, blue or tan jeans and black tactical boots.
Late Thursday night, officers surrounded a home on 5th Street, calling for someone inside to come out.
One person in handcuffs was already led away into a police patrol car earlier in the night but their involvement in the deadly shooting is unknown.
Around 1 a.m. Friday, the Davis Police Department said the suspected shooter was found dead in a home near 5th and E streets from a what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Pytel called Corona a “rising star in the department.” She graduated from the Sacramento Police Academy in July 2018 before being promoted to an officer. The 22-year-old finished her field training around Christmas time, Pytel says, before she went out on her own just weeks prior to her death.
“She was just an absolute star in the department and somebody that pretty much everybody in the department really looked to as a close friend, a sister,” Pytel told reporters at a press conference Thursday night. “And I’ve heard her described by our officers tonight as our daughter and our friend and our sister that we all wanted. This is just an absolutely devastating loss to the police department.”
A Facebook post from the police department shows Corona carrying a bag of gifts to a Camp Fire victim in December.
“Natalie was just full of life and full of energy and just an absolute pleasure to be around,” Chief Pytel said. “She loved being around everybody in the department.”
She is survived by her parents.
Pytel reports the last time his department experienced a shooting-involved death of one of their officers was in 1959 when Officer Douglas Cantrill was killed by gunfire.
UC Davis reports the shelter in place order has been lifted but officials have asked everyone to avoid downtown Davis.
Stay with FOX40 for more updates as they become available.