Tara O’Sullivan has been identified as the Sacramento Police officer who was shot and killed late Wednesday night, according to reports. Deputy Chief Dave Paletta confirmed O’Sullivan’s identity at a press conference early Thursday morning, according to the local CBS affiliate.
The 26-year-old officer was responding to a domestic disturbance and helping a woman collect her belongings when a gunman open-fired with a rifle.
O’Sullivan was struck by a bullet and transported to UC Davis Medical Center where she ultimately died after surgery.
“The officer went down in the yard of a residence. Due to the suspect’s being armed with a rifle and actively shooting, our officers maintained cover in safe positions until we were able to get an armored vehicle in the area,” Sacramento police Sgt. Vance Chandler said at the press conference. “Our officers were able to bring an armored vehicle to the location.”
It was the department’s first officer death in two decades.
“It’s been 20 years since the Sacramento Police Department lost an officer in the line of duty, but the last two graduating classes have lost an officer,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said. “Both Natalie Corona and Tara O’Sullivan had bright futures ahead of them. They had big dreams and even bigger hearts.”
It is not the first officer to be gunned down in Sacramento this year, however.
In January 2019, Davis Police Department officer Natalie Corona, 22, was shot and killed when responding to a car accident. Corona had graduated from the Sacramento Police Department’s training academy the prior summer and was responding to the scene alone.
O’Sullivan joined the department in January 2018 before graduating from the police academy in December of that year. She previously graduated from Sacramento State University with a degree in child development.
Our deepest condolences are with O’Sullivan’s family and friends during this incredibly tragic and difficult time.