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Gunman kills police officer, then kills himself, authorities say

January 15, 2013 |  3:45 pm

A man shot and killed a police officer before apparently turning the gun on himself in Sacramento County on Tuesday, marking what appeared to be the first time a Galt, Calif., police officer was killed in the line of duty, authorities said.

The incident unfolded about 11:20 a.m., when police were called to a residence in the 200 block of F Street in Galt, about 30 miles south of Sacramento, Sacramento sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos said.

While investigating the burglary, one of the officers saw a man walking nearby and approached him, Ramos said.

"I don't know if that guy was identified by witnesses as a suspect or his clothing matched, but for whatever reason the officer decided to make contact," Ramos said.

A struggle ensued between the man and the officer, who radioed for "emergency cover," Ramos said. A second officer responded and, according to the preliminary investigation, the man drew a handgun and fired at both officers.

One of the officers was struck and taken to an area hospital, where he died, Ramos said.

The suspect was found dead, with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Ramos said. A handgun was recovered "in very close proximity" to the body.

The other officer was not injured, Ramos said. No information was immediately available about the slain officer or gunman. It was not immediately known if the shooter was connected to the burglary.

It did not appear that either officer fired their gun, Ramos said. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Galt police told Ramos the incident marked the first time a Galt police officer was killed in the line of duty. On Tuesday, the department's website read: "Since 1946, we have never lost an officer in the line of duty."

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— Kate Mather

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