'She was a rising star': 22-year-old rookie police officer shot and killed responding to accident in California

DAVIS, Calif. -- A 22-year-old California police officer was shot and killed as she responded to a traffic accident late Thursday night.

The suspected gunman took his own life, according to police.

Just before midnight, Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel announced Officer Natalie Corona passed away after being taken to the hospital.

Corona was shot when she responded to a three-car crash near 5th and D streets. A sheriff's deputy said the man who they believe shot and killed the officer was not involved in the car accident.

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Police said it appears he just walked up and shot her. He lives half a block from where she was investigating a car wreck, according to authorities.

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"She was a rising star." Davis police gave an update on the tragic shooting that killed 22-year-old Officer Natalie Corona.

Later, officers surrounded a nearby home. They sent in a robot and also exploded what appeared to be flash-bang grenades.

Just before 1:30 a.m., police announced the suspect was found dead with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The suspect was described as a white male in his 20s.

Officer Corona started her career at the Davis Police Department in 2016 as a community service officer. She had just completed the Sacramento's police academy last July. According to the Williams Pioneer Review, She was sworn in as a Davis police officer on August 2.

Corona had just got out of the department's field training program just before Christmas and had only been on the streets for a couple of weeks.

"She was a rising star within the department," said Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel. "And, I've known her for a couple of years. And, she started as a part-time employee volunteer. And, I can tell you that I haven't seen anybody work harder in a part-time capacity and be more motivated to be a police officer than Natalie."

Officer Corona is survived by her parents. Her father is a 26 year veteran of the Colusa County Sheriff's Office. He was sworn in as Colusa County District 1 Supervisor on Monday.
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