Vigil for Davis officer Natalie Corona
The memorial service for slain Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at The Pavilion at ARC on the campus of UC Davis.
It will be open to the public, according to an announcement by Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel.
The facility adjacent to the Activities and Recreation Center, or ARC, is the largest venue on campus and can seat as many as 8,000 people, according to the school’s website.
Corona, a 22-year-old rookie in the department, was slain after responding to a traffic accident in downtown Davis Thursday night. A gunman opened fire on her and then fled, leading to a manhunt that lasted into Friday morning, when police found the gunman dead inside a rental home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“I’d really like to see as many people as possible from the community attend,” Pytel said during Saturday’s vigil at Davis’ Central Park, which was attended by at least 1,000 people.
Corona was described by her family as “very hard-working,” “humble” and “driven,” in interviews with The Sacramento Bee Friday. Law enforcement runs in Corona’s family: Her father, Merced, is a retired Colusa County Sheriff’s deputy who served on the force for 26 years.
Corona started volunteering as a community service officer with the Davis Police Department after she graduated from high school and for a time worked at the department even after funding for her position ran out. In July, after graduating from the Sacramento Police Academy, Corona was sworn in as a Davis officer. She had just completed six months of field training when she was ambushed while checking driver’s licenses during a routine call.
Corona is survived by her parents, Merced and Lupe, and her sisters, Jackie, Cathy and Cindy.
It’s unknown if other public services are planned in Arbuckle, the Colusa County town where Corona grew up.
Corona is the first Davis Police Department officer to be killed in the line of duty in nearly 60 years.
Patrolman Douglas Cantrill was found shot to death Sept. 7, 1959, along H Street. According to the previous reporting by The Bee, the 23-year-old had stopped a man and woman acting suspiciously in a residential neighborhood when a struggle ensued and the killer shot him with his service pistol.
Cantrill had only served on the Davis force for a month after two years in law enforcement, according to Yolo County District Attorney’s Office records. His name is one of 11 inscribed on Yolo County’s Fallen Officer Memorial in Woodland.
At least 71 law enforcement officers have been killed in California by an assailant while on duty in the past 17 years, according to the state Department of Justice.
The service will be the first in the capital region for a slain officer since the memorial for Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Stasyuk, who was shot and killed Sept. 17 after he and his partner responded to a call at a Rancho Cordova auto parts store. More than 3,000 people, including law enforcement officials from across the state, attended the services in Roseville.