A man charged with killing a rookie Sacramento police officer is on an around-the-clock psychiatric watch after officials said he slammed his head against a bed frame inside his jail cell over the weekend.
Despite a brief hospitalization Sunday, Adel Sambrano Ramos is expected to make his first court appearance Monday afternoon to be arraigned on murder, attempted murder and illegal firearm charges in connection with a shootout that killed Officer Tara O’Sullivan last week.
Ramos, 45, also faces special circumstance allegations that could make him eligible for the death penalty, according to a criminal complaint filed in Sacramento County Superior Court.
Authorities say Ramos ambushed O’Sullivan, 26, and several other officers who responded to a domestic disturbance call at a house at 5:40 p.m. Wednesday in the 200 block of Redwood Avenue.
Authorities had been called to stand watch as a woman gathered her belongings and left the home. Officers first encountered the woman shortly before noon when they were summoned to a disturbance between her and a man, according to Sacramento police.
O’Sullivan had been at the house for 30 minutes when she was gunned down, a moment that was captured in chilling footage from the body cam of a fellow officer.
Ramos had the front door barricaded when law enforcement arrived at the house, so they went into the backyard and approached a detached garage. In the video, an officer can be heard calling to Ramos by name as he approaches the door of the garage with his gun drawn.
“Police Department,” the officer calls out. “If you’re in here, let me know. You’re not in trouble, dude.”
Seconds later, Ramos unleashed a barrage of gunfire behind the officers using a high-powered rifle, authorities say, striking O’Sullivan several times. One of her wounds was not survivable, according to police.
The camera is pointed to the ground as the officer ducks and runs for cover behind a boat. Someone yells, “You OK? You OK?”
“This is a high-powered rifle. Get out here now,” the officer says. “We’ve got one down. ... Officer down! Officer down!”
He continues ducking behind the vessel, peeking up only occasionally to determine the shooter’s location.
“Yeah, he’s still shooting. He’s stalking,” he whispers into his radio. “He’s changing clips.”
The gunfire erupts again, and the officer runs out of the yard before the video ends.
Police said Ramos continued firing, preventing others from coming to O’Sullivan’s aid as she lay wounded in the yard. Eventually, authorities drove an armored vehicle into the area to rescue her amid continued gunfire. One officer returned fire but did not strike Ramos, police said.
As officers were backing out of the yard, the armored vehicle broke down, and several of O’Sullivan’s colleagues had to carry her to a police car to take her to the hospital, police said.
Ramos fired sporadically at officers for more than four hours before police persuaded him to surrender shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday, authorities said.
Officials later found a shotgun, a handgun and two AR-15 style rifles — assembled from parts to create assault weapons that are illegal in California — strategically placed throughout the house. They also found casings scattered throughout the property, police said.
Ramos has a criminal court record in Sacramento County dating back to 1995 with convictions for domestic violence, DUI, petty theft and battery. A warrant for Ramos’ arrest was issued nine days before the shooting after he failed to appear in court as part of a 2018 misdemeanor battery case involving a minor, court records show.
He is being held in Sacramento County Jail without bail. It is not clear whether he has an attorney.
Times staff writer Anita Chabria and the Associated Press contributed to this report.