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  1. #1
    Willowdared's Avatar
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    Deputy Killed Making Traffic Stop

    Search for shooting suspect yields two bodies
    Couple found in van like one at scene of deputy's slaying


    Greg Lucas and Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Staff Writers
    Friday, October 27, 2006

    (10-27) 04:00 PDT Sacramento -- A manhunt for the killer of a Sacramento County sheriff's deputy led police to the Gold Rush country foothills Friday evening with the discovery of a van in the Cosumnes River containing a dead man and woman.

    The white Chevrolet van matched the description of the vehicle stopped at 3:27 a.m. Friday by Deputy Jeffrey Mitchell, 38, a nine-year veteran of the department who was shot in the head at Meiss and Dillard roads in a rural part of the county southeast of Sacramento.

    The intersection where Mitchell was killed is near Highway 16, which leads to Highway 49 and Plymouth, the town just south of where the van was found in about 18 inches of water in the river.

    Multiple law-enforcement agencies and California Highway Patrol investigators were at the scene. A sheriff's department investigator was en route, a department spokesman said, to search for evidence linking the van and its occupants to the deputy's slaying.

    The bodies in the vehicle are yet to be identified. Law enforcement officials also have not said what the cause of death was, nor have they said definitively the van was that of Mitchell's killer.

    Law enforcement officials spent the day scouring Sacramento and Northern California for the van and the man who shot and killed Mitchell. The dead man in the van was in the driver's seat, authorities said.

    "It's a horrible, horrible tragedy for the sheriff's department," said Sheriff John McGuinness.

    "We are working with all our law enforcement colleagues to pick up any bit of information we can. The person who is responsible for the death of our officer very much poses a threat to anyone," McGuinness told reporters at a morning news conference.

    Mitchell, who had patrolled that part of the county since 2002, reported to a dispatcher that he was making a traffic stop of the Chevy van, which had no license plates. When he did not respond to a subsequent call from the dispatcher, a deputy was sent to the scene.

    A deputy arrived 20 minutes later to find Mitchell with a gunshot wound and a faint pulse. McGuinness said it appeared Mitchell had drawn his weapon and may have been trying to place the driver in custody or detain him when he was shot.

    "There was nothing done wrong in terms of policies and procedures," McGuinness said.

    Mitchell was taken to the UC Davis Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:45 a.m.

    A resident of El Dorado Hills, 35 miles northeast of Sacramento, he is survived by his wife, Crystal, and a 6-year-old son. A physical education major at Cal State Sacramento, Mitchell began his career at the department as a recreation technician at the county jail. He became a deputy six years ago.

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mitchell's killer.

    "He willingly put his life on the line to protect the citizens of California, and our prayers are with his loved ones during this painful time," the governor said in a statement.

    Mitchell is the first Sacramento County sheriff's deputy slain this year. The last deputy shot and killed in the line of duty was in 1988. Two deputies were killed in July 2005 in the crash of a sheriff's department helicopter.
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  2. #2
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  4. #4
    Willowdared's Avatar
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    It looks like they are close to ruling out the couple found in the van as being connected. They possibly died of carbon monoxide poisening after their tailpipe was flooded.

    Our department policy is automatic cover on unplated vehicles.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

 

 

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