DAVIS (CBS13) – A day after her death, Natalie Corona is remembered as a shining light in her community.
“She was a very humble, loving person,” said Rosa Corona, Natalie’s aunt. “That’s all she had to give was love.”
“She just always saw the good in people,” said Merced Corona, Natalie’s father. “She was a great daughter, a great friend.”
But perhaps her favorite title was Police Officer.
“She was just somebody that everybody in this building respected and truly I don’t think I’ve ever worked with anybody quite like her,” said Darren Paytel, Davis Police Chief.
The 22-year-old had just completed her field training in December after graduating from the Sacramento Police Academy back in July 2018. She was gunned down in the line of duty on Thursday while responding to a car crash in Davis.
“Her peers talked about how selfless she was, how she would do anything for anyone at any time,” said Corporal Ralph Knecht, Sacramento Police Department.
Natalie, the oldest of four sisters, was always volunteering, playing volleyball and basketball and even won homecoming queen her senior year.
“Natalie was just a person full of life,” said Robert Corona, Natalie’s cousin. “She loved everybody, and everybody loved her.”
She remained laser-focused on becoming a police officer, following in the footsteps of her father, a former deputy with Colusa County Sheriff’s Department.
“You’re just so proud of them, you know that that’s what they were made for,” Merced said. “That’s where they’re supposed to be.”
Training Officer Brian Laird reaffirmed that Friday afternoon.
“From the day she left here, she was the example of what it takes to be successful,” said Laird, who worked with Natalie at the academy.
“She would always smile, ‘Good morning, Corporal, good afternoon Corporal,’” Knecht said.
Her friends from the academy say they’ll never forget her perseverance.
“It’s kind of hard to talk about her honestly,” said Byron Eby, who went through the academy with Natalie. “She had the hardest time at the academy but she pushed through.”