DAVIS -- Bouquets of flowers, balloons and heartfelt notes lined a curb in downtown Davis where a gunman ambushed a young officer as she responded to a car crash.
"The rainbow colors are for her being in heaven," said Davis resident Matthew Ottelle.
Chalk art honored Natalie Corona, the 22-year-old "rising star" who was killed just as her career as a police officer was starting.
"She was really nice. She always had a smile on her face," Ottelle said.
Acting Davis Fire Chief Dennis Reilly said "it's hit us all. It's hit us very hard here in this organization."
The crash that preceded the shooting happened within earshot of the Davis Fire Department.
Reilly said six firefighters were “under a tremendous amount of pressure."
"They were in great danger," he told FOX40. "They acted heroically."
Those firefighters took cover when shots rang out but when they saw officer Corona had been shot, they tried to save her life.
"One of our apparatus did sustain some bullet holes and I think it's a fair and accurate statement to say that our people were in the line of fire," Reilly expressed.
Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel says one firefighter narrowly escaped the gunfire.
"One round hit him in the boot. He was not injured. He ran, continued to run," Pytel said.
Reilly said the senseless loss of life is a heartbreaking reminder of the dangers first responders face on the job every day.
"Unfortunately, what happened last night is a reality of this business. Both the police and fire department work in very dangerous worlds," he said.
Reilly says the six firefighters who responded to the crash and shooting were sent home. They did not work Friday.
"They’re doing OK, considering the circumstances," he said.
They are due back at work Saturday morning.