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Go inside the crime scene where officer Tara O’Sullivan was killed

With Tara O’Sullivan lying in a backyard wounded by bullets from a high-powered rifle, her fellow Sacramento police officers needed a rescue plan that wouldn’t result in additional bloodshed.

It was 6:10 p.m. on June 19, and O’Sullivan had arrived with her partner at the Redwood Avenue home in North Sacramento about a half hour earlier to respond to a domestic violence call.

With the front door of the house barricaded and a warrant for assault out on Adel Sambrano Ramos, 45, the officers had asked for additional backup. Three additional officers arrived on site.

Two minutes after O’Sullivan was shot, with gunfire spraying from both sides of the house, officers are heard on police radio traffic requesting a BearCat, the department’s armored vehicle.

The BearCat arrived in 18 minutes, but it would be another 26 minutes before it reached the wounded rookie officer.

Explore this 3D animated visualization of the Redwood Avenue crime scene, synced with audio from police radio transmissions.

Click or touch the interactive to view the scene from different angles. Use your left mouse button to rotate and the scroll wheel to zoom on a computer. On a phone, touch across to rotate and pinch to zoom. As the animation jumps to key moments in the incident, the timestamp at the top left will update.

Scroll down to find a transcript of the police audio traffic.

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Transcript of police radio traffic

Our interactive graphic shortens the time span of the incident from 47 minutes to under 5 minutes. Here’s the complete time span: an unofficial, minute-by-minute transcript of police radio traffic from that evening compiled by Bee staff. Because of the quality of the recording, it is likely that some words have been omitted or misheard.

6:10

Copy shots fired.

925.

Officer down ... officer down.

[Inaudible]

Copy officer down. Copy officer down. [Inaudible] fire.

Sorry, where at?

229 Redwood.

Ok, I got you at 211 Redwood.

Do we still have a suspect outstanding?

Yeah, he's still shooting.

6:11, 1 minute after O’Sullivan was shot

What's the address?

I got 'em at 229 Redwood.

Let's stage fire at Edgewood and Redwood.

Let's clear the air. He's stalking officers. He's got one down at the rear shed.

Copy.

Get off the air. High-powered rifle, multiple reloads. He's firing the front toward the north from the south. He's still firing.

Has the officer been evacuated?

[Inaudible] She's pinned down. She's pinned down.

6:12, 2 minutes after

He's firing out the front and the rear. Don't go in the front or immediately rear of the house. We need shields and we're gonna need more than that. Marco get that BearCat rolling.

6:13, 3 minutes after

Give us the air. We're trying to stalk this guy - where's he firing from?

OK. We're going get the cars here. When they get here, we'll move in and make a barricade and pull you out.

You've got five cars almost 906.

[Inaudible] preserve your ammo.

We're pinned down on the east side. [Inaudible] in the front, Horner's got the rear.

6:14, 4 minutes after

We have a unit in route to pick up the BearCat.

I'm sorry 229 Redwood Ave. It's on your left. He's been firing out front and back I need to know if he's out front. High powered, sounds auto.

6:15, 5 minutes after

He's been firing from the front and rear. [Inaudible] unknown closing,

The location is 229 Redwood Avenue.

2 8 Only one officer is left, she's down. She's in the backyard. Everyone else is out front.

6:16, 6 minutes after

All responding units [inaudible].

Units are stepping on each other.

SAR I need a unit on either side of the house.

He's still taking shots. Can you see where that's coming from? It could be 221 or 229 Redwood.

Either 221 or 229 Redwood. Taking shoots.

It's on the north side.

SAR I need to clarify is it 221 or 229 taking shots.

He was last in 221 but he has access to 229 and all the sheds. He already pulled two rifles out of there. He's still got more obviously.

6:17, 7 minutes after

SAR I got the officer down in at back of 221.

The red house.

[Inaudible]

SAR that will be the house with the silver car parked out front. Brown house, brown roof. Large shed in the backyard.

You've got the run of those yards now and houses. 221 and 229. There's a silver truck on the east side of 229 that he has access to also.

SAR You just said Redwood and Edgewater. I need one of you to boot northbound and cover that alley so you can work to the east.

6:18, 8 minutes after

It's been about a minute since his last shot. We don't know where he's moved to, just so you know.

Can you give us a description of the house?

Yes, it's like a tan stucco with dark trim. And the backyard has a green shed. That's 221. 229 is a creme [inaudible] and has a silver truck on the inside and a red [inaudible] in the back. There's also a [inaudible] in the back.

K9: Can you see us in the alley and guide us in?

He's still firing – still firing.

6:19, 9 minutes after

A silver truck is going to be three houses east of you.

Lock down El Camino. Lock down Grove. Cut it all off at Traction. Let's shut it [inaudible].

Air 1 from K95: Can you guide us in from the alley?

Yep. Next to silver truck, you take alley from east, you take third house to east.

K95 from K94: I got a team of officers in that alley, about two doors down. I've been trying to get them radio time to see if we can do a rescue or not.

K94 for 5: We got a shield team and rescue team in place ready to go.

Air 1 from K94: Do you see us in this backyard? How many houses down? Do you think we can get to that officer or not?

I got the units on Edgewater next to the silver truck. If that's where you are at, it's going to be three houses to the east.

6:20, 10 minutes after

Suspect is still shooting.

There's an incident on the west but the north side is free. Stay out of the way you're in crossfire - crossfire.

We don't have a unit at Colfax and El Camino. We need one there now.

Sure. [Inaudible] as well cover that.

The officer just moved her left hand in the backyard of 221.

6:21, 11 minutes after

If you are west of this house you need to get down on the south side. Crossfire. Crossfire. It's on the north side of Redwood – get on the south.

K9: If you have cover, take it.

BearCat is in route. He's got a rifle. Do not effect an arrest with our level 3 shields. Wait for the BearCat if you can.

6:22, 12 minutes after

Suspect still firing. Sounds toward the rear of the property. Our two units have married up in the alleyway.

Do we have another sergeant in route up here?

I need to know if he's firing 221 or 229.

I'll work on another sergeant.

36 We need an additional unit at Edgewater.

K94: I still need an answer to my question. Can we perform a rescue on this officer from where we're at in the alleyway? SAR can you five on that?

Our bulletproof vest will not cover us with the rifle that he has.

6:23, 13 minutes after

Coming up behind it... trying to do a rescue.

SAR we have that BearCat in route. We can take that from the alley into the yard. We're gonna need that BearCat for the rescue.

What's that ETA on that BearCat?

Code 11. We're ... um ... Dos Rios and Richards.

There's smoke coming from the backyard of 221. Looks like maybe a flare or something similar was fired from the house.

[Inaudible] EMT is going to be east side of Thrift Town.

6:24, 14 minutes after

Hold your position. Hold cover. Let's get the good intel where the target is and where he's firing from, and let's get a coordinated effort on his 9 to 5. Continue locking down the perimeter. Nobody in and out.

I need priority. Did anybody throw anything that's gonna throw smoke, a flash thing or anything in the backyard?

There may have been a flash bang thrown at the officer that's down in the backyard. She's barely moving her hands. She's up against the shed just to the north of the fence that backs up to the alleyway.

6:25, 15 minutes after

The active shots fired, and where she's located. I do not believe a rescue can be accomplished yet until we lock down where he's at – where the shooter's from. There's too many outbuildings here.

We got a large group trying to do a rescue in the alley. Can you guide us in? How far out are we?

Are you east or west?

We are north and east.

I would prefer to have the BearCat go through that fence before you guys do the rescue, but your call.

And if you wanna go in it's gonna be west of you. There's a tall telephone pole or power pole right up against the back fence.

6:26, 16 minutes after

221 is a two story - a two story - so address that on your cover.

It's going to be three houses to the west of you.

We've got to coordinate the ingress. We still don't know exactly where the shooter is and we got a ton of outside agencies coming in to help. They're all over the place.

Can we use them for traffic control?

6:27, 17 minutes after

Do we need any more K9 or units?

Negative, what I need now is for the units to stand pat. BearCat will be in route. We'll do our rescue.

Redwood house this would be the ideal situation for BearCat to move into that.

6:28, 18 minutes after

George 17 BearCat 906 west end of the alley.

K94: Once that BearCat enters the alleyway we will breach the fence with the BearCat using it as cover and we are gonna try to do an officer rescue. Sam 2 - do you copy that?

Sam 2: I copy that, that sounds fantastic.

Where's our point of cover? Where are the shots coming from? Which side? And we're southbound.

Sam 2: Suspect is shooting out into the street at the unit in view.

I got the BearCat. I need those units in that backyard. It's going to be in the large shed along that north fence line. She's gonna be on the south side of that shed.

6:29, 19 minutes after

[Inaudible] toward the front of the BearCat or rear?

SAR the rear of the BearCat. The telephone pole that's at the rear of the BearCat. If you go on that west side of that telephone pole through that fence, go to that building that's on the 1 4 corner, she's at the 1 side of the 4 corner.

Who's high coverage of BearCat?

Where did that shot come from? Where'd that shot come from?

We got [inaudible] in the opposite side in the line of fire.

K94 we have enough people in the alley with the BearCat. Myself and [inaudible] are going to lead this team. We don't know where the shots are coming from at this point.

From units on scene initially they were coming from all parts of that house FYI.

6:30, 20 minutes after

It's possible shots were coming from the building she's right in front of, which is that 1 4 corner. There's also the residential structure that's to the south of where she's at – could of been coming from there. There's at least two more structures to the east of those that look like they're in adjoining back yards. For info, if you're going to do the rescue, the BearCat needs to come through the fence – and take it to the west of the power pole, in between the power pole and that structure that is to the west of you.

All right we're ready to go [inaudible].

6:31, 21 minutes after

Air unit we need to know where to take this thing through the fence.

West of the power pole, west of the power pole south by the alleyway. Between the power pole and that structure – garage-looking type structure – that's on the west side of the fence.

When you go in, you need to hug that east fence line when you go into that backyard.

6:32, 22 minutes after

There's holes in the 4-side window [inaudible] near the 1 side 1 4 corner. Holes in that window.

2 3 corner 2 3 corner.

It's a one-story window and there's an AC unit right below the window.

K94: We'll pull around, fire down at the house again out of the BearCat.

6:33, 23 minutes after

(Noises, open mic)

Units are stepping on each other. Charles 23 go ahead.

Charles 23 K9 standby

6:34, 24 minutes after

23 Go ahead.

Ok. The officer trapped – can you broadcast?

K9: Can you hear me? Can you broadcast?

O'Sullivan K9 standby. Broadcast. Give me a click on your mic if you can hear me.

Cue up the rescue.

6:35, 25 minutes after

Last known location of O'Sullivan was near the extended garage nearest the 1 4 corner of the alley extended garage. We're attempting to make a safe approach to at least get eyes on.

SAR I can't tell if she's moving or not.

SAR for K9 standby. I'm with the BearCat team. Can you talk us in? If we put this in to this on the west side of the garage will we get to her?

You need to be on the east side of that shed that's directly south of you now.

6:36, 26 minutes after

SAR You have a clear shot through that fence line into the backyard on the east side of that shed.

After you reach that fence with the BearCat you're going to want to come south. Get in on the south end of that shed and nose in between the house and the shed.

Your officer is gonna be on the 1 4 corner of that shed, so if you can avoid hitting the awning that runs off the east side of that shed that would help.

6:37, 27 minutes after

[Inaudible] cut off the power to this location. We may have to breach the back gate and the power lines are [inaudible].

Are you out?

Negative I got about 20.

Those last shots fired – was that suspect or us?

All the suspect.

SAR do you have a window where they're coming from?

6:38, 28 minutes after

SAR 90 Sam you got some SSD units. Can we help?

SAR if I can get you into the alley to the north of Redwood.

If you have the BearCat I'd appreciate it.

Yeah, we're waiting on BearCat. We got multiple subs.

Where's your CP at?

410 El Camino.

Do we need to move on the east side at all? Are we locked down?

6:39, 29 minutes after

Got a call from [inaudible] El Camino that we have possible suspect on the roof there.

[inaudible] shirt, no further description.

236 El Camino, which it looks like is directly behind.

21 Sam: We have two units to north of shed if that's what youre seeing.

Arden 1: We got two blue on the roof on the house immediately behind the target house.

K94: Our guys.

Alright K94, you guys are goning to hear some less lethal being deployed taking out cameras.

6:40, 30 minutes after

Medics are staged on the east side of Thrift Town.

K9 I need your cell phone number for pictures.

916 [phone number]

We're trying to clean up the rescue teams. There's way too many back here.

In the meantime we're taking out a rear camera via 40. He probably has eyes on his lift, and our intent is to nose this BearCat to breach this fence once we're all tucked in to it to try to get eyes on our officer.

6:41, 31 minutes after

SAR copy if you break through that fence with the BearCat and you drive it forward from the front of the BearCat, she'll be off to your right from the passenger front after you get around that garage or shed. So she'll be on the 1 4 corner favoring the 1 side.

I copy. I gotta get the guys straight out of here here.

Can I get more rifles to you?

No, we already have too many people because we can't move this BearCat without a [inaudible]. So let me clean this up and then we'll make that movement.

Pictures are in the mail.

6:42, 32 minutes after

To the officers in the pickup truck: Confirming it's three houses to the west on the north side of the street.

BearCat, I got two armored-up subs that can come help you out with aid as you need.

6:43, 33 minutes after

BearCat, come from the east to the west - come from the east to the west.

6:44, 34 minutes after

Edgewater. We're gonna drive through two fences and that's gonna put us between the target house and the shed and where our officer is. It'll be a lot quicker.

If you're trying to send me pics, I still haven't gotten them.

Just a suggestion: If you come off Edgewater, you can breach two fence lines and be in this backyard without any other obstacles.

That'll put that BearCat right between the shed where the officer is and the house where the suspect is supposed to be located at.

6:45, 35 minutes after

I copy that.

[Inadudible] directly your way, if you need anything.

Are the power lines shut off? We have to go through a power line to get to this backyard.

Can anyone advise if the power lines are off?

We are nudging the BearCat at the fence, seeing if we can get a look at the downed officer.

Staging rifle team come up please.

6:46, 36 minutes after

Bearcat SSD: We're rolling in to cover 229 Redwood. That's on the north side correct?

Affirmative on the north side.

If we have a couple snipers out that can deploy, that'd be good.

Automatic fire from inside the house.

It was fired to the south.

Coming outta the window at the 1 2 corner.

In to the backyard or front yard?

Front yard, front yard – the southwest corner.

6:47, 37 minutes after

Cam I think he's shooting at me southwest from that window. Looks like it's coming from inside the house.

BearCat you're stuck on the wire on the west side.

Stuck on the support wire for that pole.

Back up. It's caught up on the turret.

6:48, 38 minutes after

Moving where BearCat's trying to breach the fence. Are we close?

Yeah, she's gonna be on the south side of that shed. When you guys enter that fence line, try not to hit the awning that's on the east side. Stay to the east of that and then you're gonna wanna nose in between the house and the shed.

6:49, 39 minutes after

SAR she's gonna be about 2 feet of the south end of that shed, so you guys are probably about 20 feet from her now.

SAR keep coming south past the shed.

SAR use that trampoline as your barrier and edge in toward the trampoline, you should be in a good spot.

They're shooting out of the south or north windows now, backyard.

6:50, 40 minutes after

You're gonna wanna put your nose right into that trampoline and then edge in between the house and the shed.

You want to get that BearCat in between her and the house.

6:51, 41 minutes after

SD cover. [Inaudible], O'Brian and myself are coming [inaudible] until they get their SWAT guys here. [Inaudible]

You're doing rescue. You're priority.

6:52, 42 minutes after

We got allied agencies on the roof of 245 Redwood and who knows where else. CHP too.

When we have a couple bodies, let's get a couple units to the southwest.

6:53, 43 minutes after

BearCat, BearCat, that basketball hoop the last shots were hitting on the asphalt K98.

If he comes running southwest we don't have that much coverage here. Let's get units behind cover southwest.

I'm covering the southwest.

SAR confirming the rescue went well.

Two rounds came through the safety screen door on the 3 side.

6:54, 44 minutes after

Is it the tan house with the red and white trim?

Multiple shots fired. Multiple shots fired.

21 the shots are coming from the back door.

Call your shots.

K9 Rescue is complete. He's egressing out eastbound out of the alley. We need to lock this down and confirm there are no other outstanding victims.

Do we have another armored vehicle we can bring to the southwest? That was the direction.

6:55, 45 minutes after

We have BearCat out front. We have SSD SWAT moving in.

249 Redwood has been evacuated.

I got fire at Traction and Edgewater. Eastbound side of Traction come through to Grove.

Units are stepping all over each other you know the priorities.

6:56, 46 minutes after

Lincoln 5: Confirming we have our officer out?

She's being brought out the east side of the alley.

Ok. Let's just lock down the inner perimeter and address all fields of fire and just really lock down that perimeter so we can get our evacuation.

— Transcribed by Theresa Clift

Drone video shows the scene on Redwood Avenue in North Sacramento, Thursday, June 20, 2019, where Sacramento Police Officer Tara O'Sullivan was shot and later died while responding to a domestic violence call Wednesday night.

Police bodycam footage, presented at a press conference Friday, June 21, 2019, shows fallen Officer Tara O’Sullivan’s training officer, Daniel Chipp, taking cover Wednesday and broadcasting the gunman’s use of a high-powered rifle.

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