El Dorado Hills, CA – Murdered Sacramento Police Officer Tara O’Sullivan’s family and friends painted the spirit rocks blue in El Dorado Hills on Saturday but by Monday one of the big boulders had been painted over with a rainbow PRIDE flag.
Officer O’Sullivan was murdered in an ambush attack while assisting with a domestic disturbance situation on June 19.
The 26-year-old officer and her field training officer (FTO) responded to the 200-block of Redwood Avenue after meeting up with a woman who was involved in the domestic violence incident earlier in the day, according to The Sacramento Bee.
The initial disturbance had already been reported to police, and Officer O’Sullivan and her FTO took the woman to the home to help her gather up her belongings and to potentially mediate the situation between her and a male at that location, KOVR reported.
At approximately 6:10 p.m., a gunman opened fire with what investigators now believe was a rifle, Sacramento Police Department Deputy Chief Dave Peletta said during a press conference early Thursday morning.
Officer O’Sullivan was hit by one of the rounds, and collapsed in a yard.
Her fellow officers tried to reach her, but the gunman continued to fire to keep them away, KOVR reported.
An armored vehicle arrived at the scene at approximately 6:54 p.m., and the officers inside retrieved Officer O’Sullivan and rushed the wounded officer to University of California - Davis Medical Center just five minutes later.
The gunman continued firing from his barricaded position inside the home, and ultimately surrendered after a nearly eight-hour standoff, FOX News reported.
Officer O’Sullivan succumbed to her gunshot wounds later that night, according to The Sacramento Bee.
The two boulders near the archery club on El Dorado Boulevard are traditionally painted to celebrate different benchmarks and milestones in the community, the Sacramento Bee reported.
On June 22, members of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department escorted Officer O’Sullivan’s family down to the rocks for a painting party in memory of the fallen officer, KOVR reported.
Officer O’Sullivan’s loved ones painted one rock blue with a silver badge and the words “Sacramento 349 Police” to represent the fallen officer’s badge number.
The other blue-painted rock had a more personal theme – it was painted with the name “Tara” surrounded by hearts, a three-leaf clover, a tree, and a picture of SpongeBob SquarePants, the Sacramento Bee reported.
When they were finished, the group of family and friends gathered for a picture and then Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn shared it on social media.
But when friends went by to see the tribune on Monday morning, they were disappointed to find that one of the rocks had already been painted over with a gay PRIDE rainbow flag.
It wasn’t known whether the artists intentionally covered up part of the tribute to the fallen officer or if they were just decorating because June is PRIDE month, the Sacramento Bee reported.