Tributes, condolences pour in for slain Officer Tara O’Sullivan of Sacramento

An outpouring of grief and condolences flooded social media following the death Wednesday night of a Sacramento police officer.

Adel Sambrano Ramos, 45, was arrested early Thursday following an eight-hour standoff after he fatally shot Officer Tara O’Sullivan, 26, as she assisted a domestic violence victim, police said.

“This is a horrible night for the City of Sacramento,” wrote Mayor Darrell Steinberg in a statement posted to Twitter. “To Tara’s parents and family, and Tara’s fellow officers, I am so sorry. As a father of a 25 year (old) daughter, I grieve with you. As Mayor of the city Tara was sworn to protect, we are heartbroken and we are here for all of you every step of the way.”

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“There are no words to describe the sadness the City of Sacramento feels for the tragic loss of this young hero,” Councilwoman Angelique Ashby wrote on Twitter.

“At a loss of words on the tragic death of @sacstategrad, @sacpolice Officer Tara O’Sullivan, who gave her young life while protecting our community,” wrote Assemblyman Jim Cooper, himself a former Sacramento sheriff’s deputy, on Twitter.

Flags at the State Capitol will be flown at half-staff in O’Sullivan’s honor, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a statement.

“Officer O’Sullivan represented 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,” Newsom wrote. “She knew the dangers of the job, yet chose to dedicate herself at such a young age to those values anyway.”

“My heart goes out to the family of Sacramento Officer Tara Christina O’Sullivan, who passed away last night following an incident while in the line of duty,” wrote Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., on Twitter.

The Martinez Police Department, where O’Sullivan served as a police Explorer, remembered her in a release posted to Facebook. She also served as an Explorer with the Pleasant Hill Police Department.

“Tara O’Sullivan will always be remembered as a vibrant, energetic and passionate community servant who rose through the ranks as an explorer sergeant and served the community with purpose,” Martinez police wrote.

Diablo Valley College, where O’Sullivan studied child development before going on to Sacramento State and the police academy, also issued a statement on her death, The DVC Inquirer reported.

“We are proud of her success and of her choice to serve, protect and give back to her community. We are heartbroken that her life was taken at such a young age.” wrote DVC President Susan Lamb in an official statement.

“We are deeply saddened to learn about the tragic passing of Sacramento Police Officer Tara O’Sullivan,” the Sacramento Kings wrote in a statement on Twitter. The team called her commitment to the city “truly commendable.”

Sacramento journalists and residents also mourned O’Sullivan.

“I’m overwhelmed & heartbroken tonight,” wrote KOVR anchor Adrienne Moore on Twitter. “Pray for her family tonight.”

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“The picture of bravery,” wrote KCRA reporter Marlei Martinez on Twitter. “Sacramento police officer Tara O’Sullivan is the department’s first officer killed in the line of duty in 20 years.”

“I’m so sorry for your Departments loss,” wrote a woman on Twitter. “Rest In Peace Officer Tara O’Sullivan...”

Absolute tragedy from a cowardly senseless act!” read another Twitter post.

Police departments across California — and the United States — shared their condolences at O’Sullivan’s death.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.