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Slain Sacramento police officer was youth explorer in Martinez, Pleasant Hill

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Communities across Northern California are mourning the loss of a Sacramento police officer with ties to the East Bay who was fatally shot in the line of duty Wednesday evening.

Officer Tara O’Sullivan was shot at the scene of an ongoing domestic dispute that had started around 11:45 a.m. She was shot with what investigators believe to be a rifle around 6:10 p.m.

A standoff ensued, with the suspect sporadically firing at police, and it took roughly 45 minutes to rescue O’Sullivan using an armored vehicle. She was transported to a hospital but did not survive.

Officers at the scene of the shooting brought in a crisis negotiation team and the suspect surrendered just before 2 a.m. The suspect was arrested on suspicion of homicide. He has since been identified as 45-year-old Adel Sambrano Ramos.

O’Sullivan, 26, started with the Sacramento Police Department as a community service officer, later attending the police academy and graduating in December 2018. She had served as a police officer for less than a year. Lt. Patrick Salamid with the Martinez Police Department said O’Sullivan also served as an explorer in youth programs at the Pleasant Hill and Martinez police departments.

Salamid said in a statement Thursday:

“Tara O’Sullivan will always be remembered as a vibrant, energetic and passionate community servant who rose through the ranks as an explorer sergeant and served the community with purpose. … She was taken from us too soon and she will be missed.”

Diablo Valley College President Susan Lamb confirmed in a statement that O’Sullivan was a former student there:

“O’Sullivan began taking general education classes at DVC in 2011. … Ultimately she discovered and achieved her dream of graduating from the police academy.”

Lamb added:

“We are proud of her success, and her choice to serve, protect and give back to her community. … We are heartbroken that her life was taken at such a young age.”

Condolences have been coming in from law enforcement agencies all over the state, as well as from the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Newsom said Thursday in a statement:

“Officer O’Sullivan represented the best of what we hope to be as human beings in her selfless service to the community and readiness to help those in need. … She knew the dangers of the job, yet chose to dedicate herself at such a young age to those values anyway.”

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