Sacramento County Sheriff’s investigators have identified two of the three suspects involved in a deadly shootout that killed one deputy and injured two CHP officers.
According to a press release, homicide detectives say Thomas Daniel Littlecloud, 32, of Castro Valley, who used a high-powered assault rifle in a shootout with sheriff’s deputies which resulted in the shooting death of 21-year veteran Deputy Robert French Wednesday afternoon.
The situation began a little after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30, when the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Auto Theft Task Force was near the Ramada Inn along Auburn Boulevard when they located a stolen car in the parking lot.
The investigators attempted to stop the suspected car when a chase ensued. Two women entered the suspect car, which eventually led them to Elk Grove, where the women were eventually detained, according to deputies.
California Highway Patrol officers arrested one woman, later identified as Priscilla Prendez, 23, of Oakland, and charged her with felony vehicle theft and evasion.
The other woman was questioned and released, according to deputies.
Since Prendez was reportedly on a searchable probation, CHP investigators returned to the Ramada Inn to search the room she was apparently staying in. The investigators knocked on the door of the room to see if other people were in the room, and were greeted by gunshots through the door and walls of the room toward the officers, deputies said.
The gunfire struck the two CHP investigators, according to sheriff’s officials. Sheriff’s deputies were positioned on the back side of the hotel room where Littlecloud was trying to exit when they came into contact with the suspect.
Littlecloud opened fire on the deputies, striking Deputy French. The suspect fled from the balcony into a nearby car where he then led officers on a chase south on Fulton Avenue and then east on El Camino Avenue, investigators said.
The suspect crashed the car just west of Watt Avenue, and engaged pursuing officers in firefight. The suspect was struck by gunfire and detained. He was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital.
Littlecloud is being treated at a local hospital and is currently in critical condition with life-threatening wounds.
The car Littlecloud was driving was allegedly reported stolen out of the bay area, investigators said. The suspect was previously sentenced to six years in prison in 2006 for assault with a semi-automatic firearm, according to Alameda County Superior Court records.
The two wounded CHP officers are being treated at a local hospital. They are in stable condition and expected to survive.
Deputy French, 52, however, died of his injuries en route to the hospital. He leaves behind three adult children, grandchildren, a sister, and live-in girlfriend.
An independent review of the officer involved shooting will be conducted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and the Inspector General.
The six other deputies involved in the shooting will be placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation as per standard department protocol.