Crime - Sacto 911

Suspect in custody after Sacramento deputy shot in face at Watt Avenue light rail station

Sacramento Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull describes how a deputy was shot in the face

A Sacramento Sheriff's deputy was shot in the face during an encounter with a suspect at the Watt Avenue light rail stop. The suspect reportedly fled into a nearby hotel and where a SWAT team was searching.
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A Sacramento Sheriff's deputy was shot in the face during an encounter with a suspect at the Watt Avenue light rail stop. The suspect reportedly fled into a nearby hotel and where a SWAT team was searching.

A Sacramento Sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Watt Avenue light rail station was shot in the face on Tuesday evening, department spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull said.

Law enforcement officials took the suspect into custody at 9:15 p.m. without any altercation, Turnbull said. They did not find a weapon with him and were searching for it.

More than 100 officers responded to the scene and surrounded the Red Roof Inn on Watt Avenue, where the suspect was hiding. Officials used a robot to locate the 27-year-old suspect, who was in a fetal position in an outdoor hallway on the second floor of the hotel.

Turnbull did not reveal the name of the suspect.

There were no reports of the suspect taking hostages.

Turnbull said the deputy, a four-year veteran of the department, is in stable condition. Turnbull said that the deputy was undergoing “extensive” surgery on his jaw Tuesday night.

Sacramento Regional Transit, which runs the light rail, has a security force made up of sheriff’s deputies and city police officers on assignment to RT.

The shooting occurred on the platform of the light rail station, authorities reported. A helicopter tracked the suspect to the hotel, just south of I-80.

The officer who was shot talked to the suspect on the platform, before the interaction escalated to a fight, Turnbull said. He did not know what was said between the officer and suspect.

Several local businesses were evacuated, including a nearby Starbucks.

“We were in the Starbucks and were told by police to evacuate immediately,” witness Tori Brant said. “Police said they were preparing for a shootout.”

The Watt Avenue exit on I-80 was blocked off by California Highway Patrol officers, and the 4000 block of Watt Avenue closed from Auburn Boulevard, south of I-80, to Orange Grove Avenue, north of the freeway.

Light rail stations in the area were also closed, according to a rider alert from RT.

“Watt I/80 and Watt West are closed at this time. Trains will turn around at Roseville Rd. Thank you for your patience,” the alert read.

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Thomas Oide: 916-321-1009, @thomasoide

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