SACRAMENTO — Tara O’Sullivan may have only been on the job with the Sacramento Police Department for a few months but law enforcement officials from across California mourned the slain officer Thursday morning as a longtime friend.
An overflow crowd gathered at a memorial service for the 26-year-old rookie who was shot last week responding to a domestic violence call.
A procession to the Bayside Church, Adventure Campus in Roseville, California, was greeted with mourners, some waving American flags, along the route. Onlookers draped flags from highway overpasses.
After the funeral, more than 500 police vehicles were expected to join a roughly 30-mile procession to a funeral home south of Sacramento for a private service.
O’Sullivan is the first Sacramento police offer killed on duty in 20 years. She was helping a woman remove belongings from a home on June 19 when she was shot. It was 45 minutes before police got to O’Sullivan while a heavily armed gunman engaged in an hours-long standoff with officers before his capture.
O’Sullivan later died at a hospital. Her parents told reporters this week they would never place blame on any of the officers who responded to her shooting.
‘She Chose to be a Difference in Our Community’
“We know that this police department provided the best training for Tara. For that we are always grateful,” said her father, Denis O’Sullivan.
In the days after the shooting, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn described O’Sullivan as exemplifying courage. “She chose to be the difference in our community to assist those who were vulnerable and those who alone could not help themselves,” Hahn said.
Adel Sambrano Ramos, who is charged in the killing, made his first court appearance Monday. He is charged with murder, which could lead to the death penalty. Ramos, 45, also is charged with the attempted murder of O’Sullivan’s training officer and illegally possessing two assault-style rifles. He has not entered a plea.
Ramos was briefly hospitalized hours before his hearing after authorities said he smashed his head against a bed frame in his cell. He was later transferred to the jail’s psychiatric wing.