California deputy killed at hotel, guests urged to shelter in place amid hunt for suspects

A Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy was killed Wednesday and two California Highway Patrol officers were injured in a shooting at a Sacramento hotel, and guests were urged to shelter in place as investigators hunted for additional suspects.

Deputy Robert French, 52, was killed in the shooting at a Ramada Inn at around noon local time, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said. He added that the two CHP officers were expected to survive.

Jones described French as a "well-respected" 21-year veteran of the department. The sheriff added that French is survived by his children, grandchildren and girlfriend.

Dozens of police cars and hundreds of armed officers have surrounded the hotel, where authorities said there may be two more suspects inside.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department spokesman Tony Turnbull said all three officers were part of a task force investigating a stolen vehicle case and had come across the missing car in the parking lot of a Ramada Inn.

Turnbull said two women in the stolen vehicle led the officers on a chase that ended in suburban Elk Grove, where they were arrested. When the officers went back to the Ramada Inn and knocked on the door to one of the rooms, Turnbull said a male suspect opened fire on them with a "high-powered rifle," injuring the two CHP officers.

The man then ran out onto the balcony, where he traded fire with sheriff's deputies and shot Deputy French. The suspect then led police on a brief chase before he was injured in another exchange of gunfire and taken into custody.

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.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.