26-year-old police officer killed in North Sacramento was Sac State alumna


Eucario Calderon - The State Hornet

CSUS Career Center Director Melissa Repa talks about Tara O’Sullivan at a press conference in front of Sacramento Hall on Thursday, June 20. O’Sullivan was a Sacramento Police officer and Sac State alumna was killed in the line of duty Wednesday night while responding to a domestic violence call.

Margherita Beale and Cory Jaynes

Tara O’Sullivan, a 26-year-old Sacramento State alumna and Sacramento Police Department officer, was shot and killed Wednesday night while on a domestic disturbance call in North Sacramento.

O’Sullivan was shot by an “AR-15 style rifle” just after 6 p.m. while helping a woman collect her belongings from a home on Redwood Avenue. O’Sullivan was responding to a call received earlier that day about a “disturbance between a male and a female,” according to a Sacramento Police Department news release.

Additional officers responded to the scene in an armored vehicle and transported O’Sullivan to a local hospital at 6:59 p.m. The suspect continued to fire shots at police, surrendering just before 2 a.m. on Thursday nearly eight hours after making contact with the crisis negotiation team, according to the release.

The department announced Tara had died just hours after being transported to the UC Davis Medical Center during a press conference in the early hours of Thursday.

On Thursday afternoon, the Sacramento Police Department identified 45-year-old Adel Sambrano Ramos as the man booked on charges relating to O’Sullivan’s death.

On Friday, the Sacramento County District Attorney Office charged Ramos for the murder of O’Sullivan, attempted murder of police officer Daniel Chipp and on two counts of possession of an “AR-15 style rifle.” Ramos is set to be set to appear in Sacramento Superior Court for his arraignment hearing on Monday, according to a tweet from the district attorney’s office.

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According to a SacSend email sent out by university President Robert Nelsen early Thursday, O’Sullivan was enrolled in Sac State’s Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars (LECS) Program and was among the first to graduate from the program in 2017.

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So proud of #sacstate_lecs alumna Officer Tara O’Sullivan, at SPD academy graduation.

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“She is remembered as one of the brightest scholars in LECS and as a highly active leader,” Nelsen said in the email.

O’Sullivan also received a degree in child development from Sac State in 2018.

Sac State held a press conference in front of Sacramento Hall Thursday to share more information about O’Sullivan and her impact on the university with the public.

Nelsen remembered O’Sullivan for her time in the LECS Program and working at the Epicure Restaurant on campus. Nelsen was joined by members of the Sac State community who knew O’Sullivan.

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Following the press conference, Nelsen said O’Sullivan was a leader at Sac State.

“She was one of the first bright lights involved in the program because she was a go-getter,” LECS Director Shelby Moffatt said. “Of slight build, she wasn’t your stereotypical big, tall, strong person, but she had the tenacity and she had a good attitude.”

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Career Center Director Melissa Repa said O’Sullivan represented everything the university stands for.

“This morning when I was trying to explain to my daughters why I was so upset about my student the only thing that I could think of to explain to them was that she was a hero,” Repa said. “They understand heroes and that’s exactly what she was, she’s a role model to so many people.”

Among those remembering O’Sullivan were Sac State Community Service Officers Casey Claudius and Ricky Williams, who were members of the LECS class following O’Sullivan’s.

“Officer O’Sullivan was the first person who made an impact and really showed us what LECS was and what it’s about,” said Williams. “She really started the program, how it will be and how it will be continued to run, she set the example.”

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According to the release, O’Sullivan was hired by the Sacramento Police Department as a Community Service Officer in January 2018. She joined the police academy in July of 2018 and graduated from it on December 20, 2018.

“Our hearts are with Tara’s family whose pain can hardly be imagined,” Deputy Chief Dave Peletta said at the Thursday morning press conference. “Our department has been called on before to shoulder the immense grief of losing an officer and we have done so in honor. I’m confident we will do so again and in doing so we will honor Tara and the courage that she showed yesterday.”

Peletta was joined by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg at the conference.

“Every day, in service to all of us in Sacramento, our police officers leave home knowing that there is a possibility that they will never return,” Steinberg said. “Today that horrible possibility has become the devastating reality for Tara O’Sullivan, her family, her friends, her classmates and her fellow officers.”

This is the first time in 20 years that a Sacramento police officer died in the line of duty, according to the city’s Fallen Officers Memorial webpage.

Additional reporting by Ronaldo Gomez.