Crime - Sacto 911

Deputies kill man who hit officer and K-9 with large rocks, sheriff’s department says

Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man who allegedly hit an officer in the head with a large rock in Rancho Cordova on Monday evening.

The incident started at 6:45 p.m. when a caller said a man was choking a woman in a vehicle in the parking lot of a Ross Dress for Less store off Olson Drive near Zinfandel Drive and Highway 50.

The first responding officer arrived in a few minutes, said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull. The alleged assailant ran across Olson Drive to the Red Roof Inn. There the man and officer fought in a landscaped area filled with river rocks, he said. The suspect picked up one of the rocks and hit the officer in the head, Turnbull said.

The officer remained conscious and fired his gun at the man, who ran down Olson and Zinfandel drives to the freeway ramp and onto westbound Highway 50, Turnbull said.

Other officers found the man on the north side of Highway 50 under the Zinfandel overcrossing. Turnbull said the man threw rocks at the deputies, who released a police dog in an effort to take the man into custody. The man then hit the dog in the head with another large rock and then began to attack officers, he said.

Two officers opened fire, wounding the man. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The unidentified suspect was 32, Turnbull said.

The officer who was hit in the head was taken to the hospital. The police dog was taken to a veterinarian. Their condition was not immediately available.

Two of the officers involved in the incident were Sacramento sheriff’s deputies and the third was a Rancho Cordova officer, who is also a sheriff’s deputy. The Sheriff’s Department contracts with the city of Rancho Cordova to provide police services.

The woman who was being choked remained at the scene. Turnbull said he didn’t know her relationship to the dead man.

Sheriff’s detectives and investigators from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office were at the scene the following the shooting, Turnbull said.

Highway 50 westbound was closed at Sunrise Boulevard for hours before reopening around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

An area around the intersection of Zinfandel Drive and Olson Drive, including a gas station, was cordoned off.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy