Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento Police Department (SPD) has released terrifying bodycam footage from the ambush attack that killed Officer Tara O’Sullivan (video below).
The video clip was released on Friday night, KCRA reported.
The 26-year-old officer and her field training officer were assisting with a domestic disturbance situation when the attack occurred at approximately 6:10 p.m. on Wednesday.
The officers 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 at approximately 5:40 p.m., KOVR reported.
When they arrived, the woman told the officers that some of her property was in a detached garage, according to KCRA.
The officers attempted to enter the main house, but the door was barricaded.
Officer O’Sullivan and five other officers then decided to clear the detached garage prior to having the woman go inside to retrieve her property.
The officers proceeded across the yard towards the garage, then announced themselves as they began to enter the building with weapons drawn, bodycam footage showed.
“Police department! You’re not under arrest. You’re not in trouble,” one officer said from outside the screen door.
After receiving no reply, the officer opened the outer door and raised his duty weapon as he began making his way inside.
He announced himself again just a second before a volley of gunshots rang out behind him.
At least one of the rounds struck Officer O’Sullivan, who collapsed to the ground, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said during a press conference on Friday night.
The barrage of gunfire continued as the officers backed out of the garage and raced to find cover, bodycam footage showed.
At least one of the officers immediately recognized that the shooter, later identified as 45-year-old Adel Sambrano Ramos, was using a high-powered rifle.
“This is a high-powered rifle!” one officer said over his radio. “We’ve got one down…officer down! Officer down!”
One of the officers spotted the gunman changing magazines just before another barrage of gunfire rang out.
The video ended as the officers raced out of the area where they had been using a boat as cover.
“As you just had a glimpse into what the officers faced on that day through the video clip, a couple things are clear,” Chief Hahn said during the press conference. “The officers were essentially ambushed by the suspect, and the result was him murdering one of our community’s police officers.”
“Throughout much of this incident…he continued to fire at officers for over four hours,” the chief explained. “He typically shot at officers every time he observed any sort of movement. He fired at the armored cars and officers multiple times.”
Investigators later discovered that Ramos had multiple weapons stashed in several locations around the property.
“It is clear by the suspect’s action that he was intent on murdering additional officers, and was taking action to do just that,” Chief Hahn said.
Officer O’Sullivan’s fellow officers tried to reach her, but Ramos’ gunfire kept 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 her to University of California - Davis Medical Center just five minutes later.
The woman the officers were assisting was not injured during the attack, and was immediately moved to safety.
Ramos 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 late Wednesday night after she underwent surgery, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Had police not waited for an armored vehicle to arrive at the scene, “we would have additional officers murdered,” Chief Hahn told reporters on Friday.
“If officers utilized the squad car with ballistic doors, this…does not protect against high-powered rifle rounds,” he noted. “Those officers would have surely been killed.”
If they would have attempted to reach Officer O’Sullivan using their ballistic vests or handheld ballistic shields, the result would have been the same.
“They would have been killed,” Chief Hahn reiterated. “These pieces of equipment do not protect against high-powered rifle rounds.”
He praised Sacramento police for how they handled the impossible situation, and said that the fact that no other officers or members of the public were harmed during the shootout was “amazing.”
“I’m extremely proud of how our officers served our community that afternoon, and how they served each other,” Chief Hahn said.
Officer O’Sullivan was hired by the Sacramento Police Department in January of 2018, and entered the police academy that July.
After her graduation in December, she began her FTO phase of training with the Sacramento Police Department, and was slated to begin patrolling on her own in the next several weeks, Sacramento Police Department Deputy Chief Dave Peletta said during a press conference on Thursday.
“This was a horrific day for this police department, and the entire community,” Chief Hahn said. “We lost an amazing person and a bright light…I ask the community to lift up the O’Sullivan family now and moving forward, because they have paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.”
You can watch bodycam footage of the harrowing encounter in the video below: