On August 30, 2017, at approximately 12:00 PM, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert French was shot and killed outside of the Ramada Inn at 2600 Auburn Boulevard.
Earlier in the day, investigators from the multi-jurisdictional Sacramento County Auto Theft Suppression Task Force (SACCATS), were conducting surveillance at the Ramada Inn on a suspected stolen vehicle. After a short time, two females drove the vehicle away from the Ramada Inn. Upon initiating a vehicle stop on the stolen car, the female driver refused to stop and a lengthy pursuit ensued. At the termination of the pursuit, the female occupants were detained and the driver of the vehicle was found to be on searchable probation and was registered to a room at the Ramada Inn.
Investigators subsequently returned to the Ramada Inn to conduct a probation search of the room to which the female driver was registered. The investigators, being unsure if there was still anyone inside the motel room, positioned another uniformed Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy to the rear of the second-floor room in the alleyway below.
Five Investigators approached the room, which was located within an interior hallway, and gave knock and notice, identifying themselves as law enforcement and requesting entry into the room. After receiving no response from anyone inside, investigators attempted to enter the room with a passkey. While trying to open the door, they found it was being forcibly blocked from the inside. While attempting to force entry into the room, gunshots were suddenly fired from the interior of the room through the door and walls, toward the officers in the hallway. Two California Highway Patrol (CHP) Investigators were struck by gunfire and one CHP Investigator and one Sheriff’s Deputy were able to return fire into the motel room. The investigators obtained positions of cover and broadcasted via radio that there were shots fired at their location as they began to evacuate themselves from the hallway.
On August 30, 2017, at approximately 12:00 PM, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert French was patrolling the North Division of Sacramento County. He responded to a radio call for help from other officers doing a probation search of a hotel room at the Ramada Inn on Auburn Boulevard. Prior to his arrival, two California Highway Patrol Officers had already been shot by the suspect.
After shooting the CHP officers, the suspect emerged onto the balcony and began engaging a deputy positioned to the rear of the motel room in gunfire. The deputy exchanged gunfire with the suspect multiple times. Despite efforts to keep the suspect contained, the suspect leaped from the balcony and fled around the building toward the front parking lot.
Upon his arrival, Deputy French retrieved his rifle from the rack of his patrol vehicle, took cover behind his vehicle, and attempted to acquire the suspect. The suspect took notice of Deputy French’s arrival and began to fire his rifle towards Deputy French’s vehicle from across the parking lot. As Deputy French was being fired upon, he continued to attempt to safely engage the suspect in gunfire. While doing so, Deputy French was struck by a round fired from the suspect’s rifle after the bullet passed through a portion of Deputy French’s patrol vehicle. The round entered through the top of Deputy French’s shoulder, missing his body armor and passing through his heart, mortally wounding him.
Despite being mortally wounded, Deputy French remained vigilant. As the suspect began driving toward Deputy French’s position, Deputy French emerged from behind cover and engaged the suspect with gunfire upon having a safe backdrop to do so, in an effort to stop the suspect from fleeing and causing more harm to the community.
The suspect exited the hotel parking lot and led responding deputies on a vehicle pursuit through a nearby business district and residential neighborhoods. The suspect was stopped during this pursuit, was taken into custody, and transported to a local hospital, where he later died.
During the entire gun battle, the suspect fired approximately thirty-four rounds from his AK-47 rifle and approximately nine rounds from his handgun. An AK-47 rifle, two handguns, and a live hand grenade were recovered from the suspect’s vehicle. A subsequent search of the motel room revealed methamphetamine and an additional handgun.