Officer shot to death in California, 2 others wounded
SACRAMENTO, Aug 30 (Reuters) - A man with a high-powered rifle fatally shot a policeman at a hotel in Sacramento, California, during a car theft investigation, and two other officers were wounded by gunfire on Wednesday at the same location, officials said.
Officers searching for a suspect in a car theft case were knocking at the door of a room in a Ramada Inn when someone inside fired through the door and walls, wounding two California Highway Patrol officers, Sacramento County Sheriff's Department spokesman Tony Turnbull told reporters.
Law enforcement officers swarmed the area after the shooting. As they approached, a man exchanged gunfire with police from a rear balcony of the room, Turnbull said.
Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Robert French, a 52-year-old grandfather, was shot by the suspect and later died as he was being rushed to a hospital, Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones told reporters.
The two California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers are hospitalized in stable condition.
It was not immediately clear if the gunman who opened fire from the balcony was the same person who earlier shot through the door and walls at the CHP officers from inside the room.
The suspected balcony gunman, after exchanging gunfire with officers, got into a car and drove away from the Ramada Inn, with police in pursuit, Turnbull said.
He later crashed the car and again exchanged fire with police before he was struck by gunfire and arrested, Turnbull said. Police did not identify him.
Law enforcement officers have converged on the Ramada Inn and evacuated people from the hotel, as they seek to determine whether any other suspects are inside the room where the gunfire broke out or somewhere else on the premises, Turnbull said.
Two women who were suspected of being involved in the car theft were arrested before the gunfire broke out, Turnbull said. The women, who were not identified either, were taken into custody after a separate vehicle chase.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Grant McCool and Sandra Maler)