Motive for slaying of cop still a mystery

DAVIS, California (AP) – 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 the 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 on 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 licence 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.