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Man charged with killing Sacramento officer allegedly threatened to kill family ‘with a bomb’

Neighbor describes man charged with killing Sacramento officer

Christopher, who lives near the Redwood Avenue shooting scene in the Noralto neighborhood of Sacramento, describes Adel Sambrano, who was arrested on murder charges in the killing of Officer Tara O’Sullivan, on Thursday, June 20, 2019.
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Christopher, who lives near the Redwood Avenue shooting scene in the Noralto neighborhood of Sacramento, describes Adel Sambrano, who was arrested on murder charges in the killing of Officer Tara O’Sullivan, on Thursday, June 20, 2019.

The suspect in Wednesday night’s slaying of Sacramento police Officer Tara O’Sullivan is a 45-year-old Sacramento man with a lengthy history of domestic violence and battery against women, including alleged threats against his wife to “blow up my family with a bomb,” court records say.

Adel Sambrano Ramos was booked into the main jail at 5:55 a.m. Thursday on a single count of murder stemming from an incident on Redwood Avenue where Wednesday night’s eight-hour siege began. Sacramento Superior Court records match Ramos’ name to a series of criminal cases dating back to 1995, including multiple domestic violence and battery cases, theft and driving under the influence. There are also records of a divorce filing.

Ramos’ latest case stems from a September charge that he battered a female juvenile in September at the same Redwood Avenue address where Wednesday night’s siege began, court records show.

Ramos was charged with “willfully and unlawfully (using) force and violence” against a young woman, but because the charge was a misdemeanor he was eligible for pretrial release and not held, court files indicate. He was ordered to have no contact with the woman.

Ramos was arraigned in November in Sacramento Superior Court, but failed to appear for a subsequent hearing and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest, court files show. That warrant was recalled after he surfaced, but another bench warrant was issued against him on June 10.

Ramos’ other criminal court files have been purged and are no longer available.

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He also is listed in family law cases from July 2003, when he was accused of domestic violence in a case that was denied.

Ramos also is named as a defendant in a domestic violence case from April 2007. In that case, a woman said Ramos threatened to “hit me with his cell phone in front of our son” and claimed he had given her two black eyes “and put a hole through my mother’s lip.”

“Defendant called me a f------ b----,” the woman wrote in court filings. “He was beating on my door, said he wished I was dead.

“The children hid in the closet.”

Another time Ramos “called my house and left a voice mail stating, ‘You better tell them good-bye soon!’ referring to my family...,” she wrote. “I’m afraid because he went to my mother’s place of work and harassed her and cussed her out.

“Then he proceeded to call my mother’s work and home and left approx 10 voice messages threatening to wipe us all out...”

Ramos also is named in federal court documents involving a traffic stop along Interstate 5 near Corning in 2011 when a California Highway Patrol officer found $26,973 in the backseat of a 1998 silver GMC Yukon that Ramos was driving. Court files say Ramos was pulled over because the right rear brake light on his SUV was not working and that the CHP officer “detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.”

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A search of the SUV turned up $4,000 in Ramos’ passenger’s wallet, $23,000 in cash in a backpack, 2 grams of marijuana in a cup holder and in a floorboard and four cell phones, court filings say. The federal government later seized the cash through forfeiture proceedings.

Ramos also appears to have a Pinterest page devoted in part to high-powered rifles and marijuana themes.

Despite allegations of violence against women, one neighbor of Ramos’ in the Noralto neighborhood said Ramos was quiet and low-key.

“Something made him snap, something happened,” said the neighbor, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Christopher. “I never dreamed in my whole life that he would do something like this.”

The neighbor said he and his children often visited Ramos at his home, and that Ramos enjoyed hunting and fishing.

“Whatever happened to this guy, I don’t understand,” he said.

Ramos, who is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday afternoon, declined to be interviewed by The Bee Thursday at the Sacramento County Jail, where he is being held without bail.

His arrest stems from an incident that began Wednesday morning when police were called at 11:43 A.M. about a disturbance between a man and woman, police said.

Officers met the woman at a home in the 3700 block of Esperanza Drive, and later were with her as she began removing belongings from a home in the 200 block of Redwood Avenue in North Sacramento.

The woman and the officers – including O’Sullivan, a 26-year-old who graduated from the police academy in December – were at the scene when gunfire erupted at 6:10 p.m.

Police believe a man opened fire with a rifle, striking O’Sullivan and setting off a nearly eight-hour siege punctuated by the suspect repeatedly firing his rifle at officers.

Police surrounded the home with armored vehicles and monitored the situation with a helicopter and drones before delivering a cell phone to the suspect using a robot. A police negotiator talked to the man through the night until he surrendered at 1:54 a.m. Thursday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an order that flags at the Capitol be flown at half staff in O’Sullivan’s honor and called her “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,” Newsom said.

Muhammed Ilyas, who lives on El Camino Avenue and Edgewater Road, said he was driving his Volvo up Grove Avenue when the active shooter situation started. He left his car — with the keys still in the ignition — and fled down the street to safety.



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