Officers dies from gunshot, police still searching hotel

A gunman with an assault rifle shot and killed a California sheriff's deputy and wounded two CHP officers Wednesday at a Sacramento hotel that was later surrounded by officers searching for suspects.

Three people, including the man suspected of killing the deputy, were in custody following a chase in a stolen car investigation that led to the hotel.

Police believe other suspects may still be holed up in a room where the shots were fired. Guests at the hotel were told to shelter in place.

Robert French, a 21-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, died on the way to a hospital from a gunshot wound to his side, Sheriff Scott Jones said. The two wounded California Highway Patrol officers were expected to survive.

The man suspected of killing French was shot by authorities and was in custody. His name was not released.

Two women were also in custody. Their names were not released.

The incident began when authorities said the women led CHP officers on a vehicle chase in what was believed to be a stolen car. When the chase ended about 20 miles from where it began, the women were taken into custody and police learned one of them had booked a hotel room in Sacramento.

Officers went to search the hotel. When they announced themselves, they were hit with gunfire coming from inside the room. Authorities say a man inside then left through the back, where he shot French and fled in a vehicle.

After a short pursuit, police exchanged fire with the man, who was hit, sheriff's spokesman Tony Turnbull said.

Jeff Marshall, who lives near the hotel, said he heard gunshots and then tires squealing and saw a grey Dodge Charger speed by his home, going the wrong way down a busy street.

Marshall estimated he heard 12 shots.

"It was like the wild West," Marshall said.

French, 52, is survived by a girlfriend and several adult children, Jones said.

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This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Sgt. Tony Turnbull's name.