SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – New information about the Sacramento County shooting that killed Sheriff’s Deputy Robert French was released today by Sheriff Scott Jones.
The shooting happened at the Ramada Inn Auburn Boulevard at Fulton Avenue last Tuesday.
Sacramento County Sheriff Jones revealed today that French was the first to respond on-scene after getting word over the radio that two CHP officers were shot at the hotel.
“He was in this first room on the second floor,” said Jones.
A sketch of the scene by sheriff’s detectives shows the first shootout happened from inside the suspect’s hotel room on the second floor. The suspect, 32-year-old Thomas Littlecloud allegedly shot and wounded the two CHP officers then got into another shootout with a sheriff’s deputy on the balcony.
Littlecloud then jumped from the balcony and hid behind a planter on the side of the hotel, which he used for cover, say deputies. He then allegedly started firing at French.
“He [French] was taking a position of cover behind his vehicle and there were a lot of rounds that struck his vehicle,” said Jones.
One of the bullets fired at French went through his patrol car, through and striking him in the heart.
“Deputy French, exhibiting extraordinary courage in the line of duty, engaged the suspect, keeping him pinned down,” said Jones.
Littlecloud escaped from the deputy and got into a stolen car. That’s when French and other officers began shooting at the suspect to get him to stop as he sped away from the hotel.
“It looks as if the suspect fired 34 rounds from his assault rifle and over a dozen rounds from a 9mm he also had,” said Jones.
Littlecloud later crashed into a telephone pole along El Camino and Watt Avenues and died a few days later.
The family of French was left hanging and looking for answers as sheriff’s deputies mourned one of their own.
“It never gets easier but we honor our own and heal as a community,” said.
Jones says Littlecloud shot French with a foreign-made AK-47 knock-off.