A man with a high-powered rifle fatally shot a policeman at a hotel in Sacramento, California, on Wednesday and wounded two other officers who were searching for a suspected vehicle thief, officials said.
The suspect crashed the auto just west of Watt Avenue, and engaged pursuing officers in firefight.
Thomas Little Cloud was in critical condition after sustaining wounds in an exchange of gunfire with police Wednesday.
California Highway Patrol officers arrested one woman, later identified as Priscilla Prendez, 23, of Oakland, and charged her with felony vehicle theft and evasion.
No details were disclosed about Prendez's relationship to Littlecloud, and the police have not named the second woman in her auto.
The six other deputies involved in the shooting will be placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation as per standard department protocol.
Little Cloud's girlfriend, Priscilla Prendez, was arrested following a high-speed auto chase in a stolen BMW, which officers initially found in the motel's parking lot.
The incident began earlier that day, when members of the auto theft task force spotted two women get into a stolen vehicle at the hotel at around 9:30 a.m.
Heavily armed enforcement officers converged on the Ramada Inn, as they sought to determine whether any other suspects were inside the room where the gunfire broke out, but none were found.
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When officers arrived, he said, they knocked on the door and announced themselves. He used a high-powered rifle to shoot through a closed door and wall and injured the two CHP officers who were looking to enter.
Two CHP officers were hit by gunfire. They are in stable condition and expected to survive. Littlecloud then went to the room's balcony and shot Deputy French before fleeing.
French died on the way to the hospital. The suspect fled from the balcony into a nearby vehicle where he then led officers on a chase south on Fulton Avenue and then east on El Camino Avenue, investigators said.
Thomas Daniel Littlecloud, 32, of the San Francisco Bay Area did prison time for assault with a semi-automatic weapon and vehicle theft, the records show.
However, Littlecloud has a criminal record and faced multiple charges in several counties.
A judge ordered his arrest for twice failing to show up in court this summer after agreeing to a plea deal. Littlecloud still had a separate pending criminal drug and weapons case in Sonoma County when he was released. I didn't know what to do.
Court records indicate he has made plea deals in numerous cases to reduced charges.
She told KCRA in a jailhouse interview that she is a prostitute and that Littlecloud is her boyfriend. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation would not release information regarding Littlecloud's prison terms or confirm he served time in the state prison system. Officers arrested them after a high-speed chase. The shootout took place after officers learned Prendez was on probation and had booked the room.
French, 52, a 21-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, was assigned to guard the hotel room balcony while other officers approached the room from the front. He leaves behind three adult children, grandchildren, a sister, and live-in girlfriend.