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Police Take Heat After Rookie Gets Ambushed

Tara O'Sullivan was shot dead with a high-powered rifle
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2019 2:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – California police have released terrifying bodycam footage of a domestic-violence call that took a rookie officer's life, USA Today reports. Tara O'Sullivan, 26, died in a hail of bullets Wednesday when five officers entered a garage in Sacramento. "Hello, police department. If you're in here, let me know. You're not in trouble, dude," an officer can be heard saying before gunshots broke out and O'Sullivan, who was behind the lead officer, took multiple hits. Officers retreated and called in an armored vehicle because the suspect, Abel Sambrano Ramos, was allegedly firing with a high-powered rifle that can penetrate protective vests, per CBS News. Prosecutors later said Ramos had two AR-15 style rifles.

Police have taken heat for the speed of O'Sullivan's care—it took 45 minutes for her to reach a hospital, where she died—but it was apparently hard to retrieve her under Ramos' continuous fire. "This was an ambush-style attack on Sacramento police officers," says Police Chief Daniel Hahn. "Under the most dangerous and trying circumstances, our officers performed admirably." The standoff went on for eight hours until Ramos, 45, was arrested and charged with murder and special circumstances that could get him the death penalty. A memorial service will be held for O'Sullivan on Wednesday, per the Sacramento Bee. "I've never seen her not smiling," says Hahn. "She's always been very enthusiastic and committed to being a police officer." (Read more police shooting stories.)

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