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.

AP file photo

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.

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