Rookie California cop slain
DAVIS, Calif. (AP) — Natalie Corona was a rising star in her police department with a sparkling smile and a huge heart who had followed in her father’s footsteps and became an officer, fulfilling a lifelong dream just a few months ago when her dad pinned the badge on her uniform.
On Friday, her father and a stunned community mourned the 22-year-old who was shot and killed on duty while responding to a multi-vehicle crash in this college town.
The shooter opened fire as Corona was investigating a three-car crash.
The suspect was found dead in a home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a short standoff with officers.
Police have not determined what prompted the attack, which occurred in a residential neighborhood up the street from a park that hosts a weekend farmer’s market. Residents placed flowers at a growing memorial outside the police department Friday, where flags flew at half-staff.
Corona’s colleagues, family and friends mourned a vibrant life that was cut short.
As the eldest of four daughters, Corona grew up dreaming of becoming a law enforcement officer like her father.
“I don’t remember her talking about anything else than wanting to become an officer,” said, said her cousin, Emily Gomez, 26, who said Corona was an athletic star in high school, excelling in volleyball, basketball and track.
Corona’s father, Jose Merced Corona, spent 26 years as a Colusa County Sheriff’s sergeant before retiring and getting elected to the county’s Board of Supervisors last November. Her mother is a firstgrade teacher, and two cousins are also in law enforcement, Gomez said.
Jose Merced Corona (left) pins his daughter Natalie Corona's badge on her uniform during a swearing-in ceremony in Davis, Calif., on Aug. 2, 2018. Natalie Corona was shot and killed during a routine call Thursday.