ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
36°
Broken Clouds
H 51° L 44°
  • cloudy-day
    36°
    Current Conditions
    Broken Clouds. H 51° L 44°
  • rain-day
    48°
    Afternoon
    Showers. H 51° L 44°
  • rain-day
    46°
    Evening
    Showers. H 51° L 44°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

National
Motive for slaying of California policewoman still a mystery
Close

Motive for slaying of California policewoman still a mystery

Motive for slaying of California policewoman still a mystery
Photo Credit: Williams Pioneer Review via AP
This Aug. 2, 2018 photo provided by Williams Pioneer Review shows Merced Corona, left, pins his daughter Natalie Corona's badge on her uniform during a swearing-in ceremony in Davis, Calif. Natalie Corona was shot and killed during a routine call Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (Williams Pioneer Review via AP)

Motive for slaying of California policewoman still a mystery

A gunman on a bicycle ambushed a rookie policewoman in Northern California, shooting her from the shadows, then reloaded and narrowly avoided wounding others before walking home and calmly watching the chaos he had caused, police said.

The man who gunned down Officer Natalie Corona in this small college town on Thursday night later killed himself in a house, but police still don't know the motive for the attack, Police Chief Darren Pytel said Friday.

The man's name was not released.

Corona, 22, died within minutes of arriving at the scene of a three-car accident. She was shot in the neck and then several other times as she lay on the ground.

"We're speculating that she never even saw him," Pytel said.

Christian Pascual, 25, was one of the drivers involved in the crash. He had handed Corona his license and she was returning it when he heard shots from close behind his right shoulder.

"The person was behind me," he told the Sacramento Bee.

"When I looked up and I saw the officer on the ground, he was already walking due west ... just shooting at what looked like random people to me," Pascual added.

The gunman sprayed bullets at a firetruck, a passing bus and a house, pausing to reload. Nobody else was wounded, although a firefighter at the scene was struck in a boot as he ran and a girl later found a bullet lodged in a textbook in her backpack, the police chief said.

Shaun Kingston, 39, saw the gunman shoot at the firetruck, "dump a clip and put another one in," and begin calmly walking away until Kingston, who followed at a distance, lost him in the crowd.

"He was just calm, cool and collected about it," he said. "It was pretty damn disturbing seeing someone do that and just walk away."

Police had had previous contact with the man, but nothing suspicious or indicating he had mental issues, the chief said. Last year, the man reported being a victim of a crime, he said.

The chief said that after the shooting, the killer "basically circled the block and went home."

At the rental home a few blocks away, he casually chatted and hung out with his roommate.

"He didn't show any sign that he was involved in the incident," Pytel said, and even went outside to watch as police from around the region began rushing to the shooting scene.

The gunman left behind a backpack that helped police track him to the house. The chief said as police began to surround it, he stepped outside wearing a bulletproof vest.

"He shouted some stuff, went back in and came back out with a firearm, then went back inside, pushed a couch in front of the door and officers heard a gunshot," Pytel said.

Police eventually sent a robotic camera in and found the shooter had shot himself in the head.

Police never fired, he said. They found two semi-automatic handguns in the home.

The shooting devastated the Davis Police Department, which has about 60 sworn officers and about 30 other employees. Corona was the first officer in the department to die in the line of duty since 1959. She had only been patrolling solo for about two weeks, the chief said.

From the janitor to the police chief, Corona "just wanted to be everybody's friend, and was," the chief said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statement Friday saying the officer died "protecting her community from harm."

A candlelight vigil for the slain officer was scheduled Saturday night.

The attack 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.

"She was the best of us," said Davis officer Mike Yu, after placing a "Blue Lives Matter" flag at the crime scene, about a mile from the police station.

As the eldest of four daughters, Corona grew up dreaming of becoming a law enforcement officer like her father, said her cousin, Emily Gomez, 26.

"I don't remember her talking about anything else than wanting to become an officer," said Gomez, who said her cousin was an athletic star in high school, excelling in volleyball, basketball and track. She grew up in a tight-knit family in the Northern California town of Arbuckle. The family had emigrated from Mexico a few generations ago and had become established members of their community.

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 first-grade teacher, and two cousins are also in law enforcement, Gomez said.

Corona graduated from the Sacramento Police Academy last July and completed her training in December just before Christmas, officials said.

"She was very proud," her father told Fox40-TV, choking back tears as he spoke about how much she loved her job.

"She would come home, she would be beaming," her father said, his voice quivering. "She died doing what she wanted to do, what she loved."

He pinned the badge on his daughter at her swearing-in ceremony in August.

Corona was the second officer killed in California in the past two and a half weeks.

Cpl. Ronil Singh, 33, of the Newman Police Department was shot to death Dec. 26 after he stopped a suspected drunk driver.

Gustavo Arriaga Perez, also 33, was charged with the murder. Authorities said Perez Arriaga was in the country illegally and was preparing to flee to Mexico when he was arrested. That killing rekindled a debate over California's sanctuary law that limits cooperation by local officials with federal immigration authorities.

___

Associated Press Writers Daisy Nguyen and Janie Har contributed to this report from San Francisco.

Read More

News

  • Pop star Miley Cyrus took to social media Wednesday night to deny rumors that she is pregnant. >> Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth married, reports say 'I am not 'egg-xpecting' but it's 'egg-celent' to hear everyone is 'so happy for us'... We're happy for us too! 'Egg-cited' for this next chapter in our lives... Now can everyone leave me alone and go back to staring at an egg?' Cyrus, 26, tweeted in response to a Daily Mail report that claimed she and husband Liam Hemsworth 'are expecting their first child together.' >> See the tweet here >> Egg photo tops Kylie Jenner post as most-liked Instagram snapshot The post featured an altered photo of the 'Malibu' singer with a smiling egg covering her belly – an apparent reference to an egg photo that went viral this week. >> Read more trending news  Cyrus married the 29-year-old Hemsworth last month.
  • Maine's giant spinning ice disk that quickly gained international fame seems to have met its end. The formation in the Presumpscot River in Greater Portland stopped rotating Wednesday, two days after a video of its mesmerizing movement was widely shared on social media. The roughly 100-yard (91-meter) wide disk is lodged against the river's edge, preventing it from moving. Meteorologist Ryan Breton tells the Portland Press Herald if the disk freezes into place, 'that might be the end of it.' The ice formation is believed to have formed naturally where there's a circular current that creates a whirlpool effect. Social media users compared it to an alien spacecraft and the moon, and ducks used it as a big raft.
  • A star athlete at a high school in Douglas County, Georgia, is being held in jail without bond after police arrested him on murder charges. >> Watch the news report here Police arrested Jalen Morgan, 17, on the Alexander High School campus last week because they said he was part of a conspiracy to commit murder in May of last year. Investigators said seven people were involved, and Morgan, along with his cousin LeAndrea Morgan, acted as the lookouts for the crime. “Two of these individuals had pre-existing issues with each other, and they showed up in an attempt to commit this act,” said Sgt. Jesse Hambrick, with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. WSB-TV’s Tyisha Fernandes learned that the intended target for the crime was not the person shot and killed. The documents say that during the robbery, one of the suspects fired a shot at the intended target – Kenneth McClary – but McClary shot back and killed the suspect. Now, all seven suspects are being held in jail without bond. >> Read more news stories  Police arrested the suspects just a few weeks after the slaying, and last week they arrested the Morgan cousins. They've wrapped the case. “These last two were the last two that they expect, and they’re ready to move forward from there,” Hambrick said. Each suspect is facing several charges, and one is accused of being a gang member. Investigators said he's part of the Bloods. They're saying he committed the crime with the intent to maintain and increase his status as a known gang member.
  • Crews are on site this morning to repair damage caused by a MARTA train derailment.  The derailed cars are still stuck on the tracks more than a day after the accident.  MARTA officials say two cars on an out-of-service train derailed around 9 p.m. Tuesday at the airport station, causing train service to stop on the red and gold lines. No passengers were on board and the rail operator was not hurt.  We're at the scene as crews prepare to bring in a giant crane to the scene and we'll have the impact for travelers, on Channel 2 Action News This Morning Passengers trying to get to the airport must get off at the College Park station, where a shuttle train and buses are taking people back and forth. The agency is investigating what caused the issue. TRENDING STORIES: Forsyth County man charged with plot to attack White House, FBI says High school football star arrested at school on murder charges Boy suspended for unintentionally using counterfeit money in lunch line
  • A Tennessee schoolteacher is accused of sex crimes involving a teen. >> Watch the news report here Jasmine Edmond, 24, was arrested Monday. She is charged with sexual battery by an authority figure. Edmond, who is a teacher at Power Center Academy High School in Memphis, began working at the school in August 2018, according to a letter sent to parents. She taught several different math classes. The alleged incident happened in November 2017, prior to Edmond’s employment with PCA High. She was employed by Shelby County Schools at the time, according to the letter, which was written by PCA High Principal Antonio Ryan. >> On Fox13Memphis.com: Man accused of attacking woman he forcibly held into prostitution, police say Ryan said the school completed a background check on Edmond, but it didn’t show anything about the alleged crime. Edmond is accused of engaging in sexual contact with someone between the ages of 13 and 17. At the time of the unlawful sexual contact, she 'had supervisory power over (the victim) by virtue of her occupational status and used the power to accomplish sexual contact,' according to the indictment. Edmond was released from jail on bond. WHBQ reached out to both Gestalt Community Schools – which operates PCA High – and Shelby County Schools for comment.  SCS confirmed Edmond was placed on administrative leave on March 27, 2018, to conduct an investigation into the allegations. She did not return to the district.  >> Read more news stories  Below is the statement given by SCS officials regarding her arrest: 'Following the reported allegations, the employee was placed on administrative leave on March 27 so that the District and law enforcement could conduct a thorough investigation. This is standard District procedure. The employee did not return to the school for the remainder of the year and is no longer employed by the District.' Gestalt Community Schools also responded with the following statement: 'We were shocked and disappointed when Jasmine Edmond was arrested. She was a new teacher at Power Center Academy, and we performed a thorough background check last summer, which showed no indication of such behavior. She is currently on administrative leave from Gestalt Community Schools pending further investigation. Although we have no knowledge at this time that her behavior impacted any of our scholars, we are doing our own internal due diligence. We will fully assist the Memphis Police Department with their investigation.' Read more here.
  • Phoenix police are looking for answers after a dead newborn baby was discovered at an Amazon fulfillment center Wednesday. According to KTVK, the body was found about 8:30 p.m. in a women's bathroom at the facility on West Lower Buckeye Road, authorities said. Officials said the baby was inside a garbage can, KNXV reported. >> Read more news stories  Amazon called the incident 'terribly sad and tragic' in a statement. 'We are working with local authorities to support their investigation,' the statement read, according to KTVK. 'The safety and wellness of our team is our top priority.' Read more here or here.