California police officer fatally shot; manhunt underway

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A police officer in Davis, Calif., was fatally shot Thursday night while responding to a traffic accident, prompting a massive manhunt for the gunman, authorities said.

Natalie Corona, 22, was pronounced dead at UC Davis Medical Center. She was responding to a three-car crash at around 6:45 p.m.

“She was a rising star in the department,” Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel said at a press conference. “She just worked like you can’t believe.”

Corona, who began as a community service officer in 2016, had graduated from the police academy in July. She had just completed her field training before Christmas and had been out on her own for a couple of weeks, Pytel said.

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Firefighters performed life-saving measures at the scene and Corona was rushed to a nearby hospital, Pytel said. It was unclear whether she was targeted or caught up in crossfire.

The ongoing investigation was turned over to the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department.

The suspect was described as a white male in his 20s with an average build, FOX40 Sacramento reported. He was reportedly wearing a baseball hat, black jacket, blue or tan jeans and black tactical boots.

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State, local and federal law enforcement agencies from across the region have responded, the Sacramento Bee reported. Police blocked off intersections and combed the area for the suspect.

Police earlier issued a “shelter in place” order and asked residents to stay away from the downtown Davis area as they searched for the suspect, FOX40 reported. The order was lifted shortly before midnight local time.

Davis is located about 15 miles west of Sacramento.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.