The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office Saturday confirmed the man alleged to have shot and killed county deputy Robert French on August 30, 2107, has died. Thomas Daniel Littlecloud, 32, reportedly died in the hospital from injuries sustained during the incident.Suspect Thomas Daniel Littlecloud. Photo courtesy Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff’s homicide detectives said Littlecloud, who was reportedly living in Castro Valley prior to the incident in Sacramento, was responsible for the shooting death of Deputy French during an investigation into stolen cars that led a law enforcement task force going to the Ramada Inn on Auburn Boulevard in Sacramento.
A memorial service for Deputy French is scheduled for September 7, 2017, at Adventure Bayside Church, 6401 Stanford Ranch Road, Roseville. The general public is invited to attend the 11:00 a.m. service, but you are asked to arrive prior to 10:00 a.m. After the service a procession of law enforcement officers will travel to Bayside Church Granite Bay.Deputy Robert French. Photo courtesy of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
According a sheriff's department spokesman, it was a little after 9:30 a.m. on August 30, 2017, members of the Sacramento County Auto Theft Suppression Task Force were conducting an investigation near the Ramada Inn located in the 2600 block of Auburn Boulevard. There are members from the California Highway Patrol, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, and Sacramento County Probation Department on the task force.
While investigators were at the Ramada Inn, they said a stolen vehicle was spotted in the parking lot. The investigators later watched as two women got into that car and drove away. Officers attempted to pull over the car, but the driver is alleged to have refused to stop, then led the officers on a chase that finally ended in Elk Grove with both women being detained. Priscilla Prendez, 23, of Oakland was arrested by the CHP for vehicle theft and felony evasion. She was booked at the Sacramento County Main Jail and is being held in lieu of $90,000 bail and made an appearance in Sacramento Superior Court on Friday, September 1, 2017, for to arraigned. The other woman was questioned and released.
Detectives said a background showed that Prendez was on probation out of the Bay Area, and registered to a room at the Ramada Inn. Undercover officers returned to the hotel to search the room. They reportedly knocked on the front door of the room and announced themselves as law enforcement in case anybody else was inside the room. The officers say that is when multiple shots were fired through the front door and walls of the room. Two CHP investigators were allegedly hit by gunfire from the suspect.
At the same time Sacramento Sheriff’s deputies positioned on the back side of the motel room. They said Littlecloud tried get out of the room through the back balcony holding a "high-powered assault rifle." The deputies also said he got into a gun battle with them, which is when Deputy French was struck by at least one bullet fired by Littlecloud, as he fled from the balcony into a nearby car.
Littlecloud is alleged to have led officers on a chase south from the hotel on Fulton Avenue, then east on El Camino Avenue. His vehicle crashed into a power poll just west of Watt Avenue. It was then, according to the pursuing officers, that he exchanged more gunfire with them at the scene of the crash and was hit by one or more bullets fired by officers before being taken into custody and transported to a local hospital. The vehicle that he was driving was reported stolen out of the bay area.
The Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Detail, Sacramento Police Department and California Highway Patrol’s SWAT team established perimeter on the motel and began a room-to-room search, not knowing whether there were additional suspects inside the room. Residents of the motel were told to shelter in place until, after several hours, the tactical teams determined there were no more suspects in the hotel and it was safe.
The two wounded California Highway Patrol Officers were taken to a local hospital for treatment. They were most recently listed in stable condition and expected to survive. Sacramento Sheriff’s Deputy Robert French, 52, died of his injuries enroute to the hospital. Deputy French was a 21-year veteran of the department, and he was reportedly assigned to the North Patrol Division. Deputy French leaves behind three adult children, grandchildren, a sister, and live-in girlfriend.
As is standard procedure or any officer-involved shooting that occurs in the Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction, the investigation into the shootings will be conducted by the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Professional Standards Division. The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office and the Office of the Inspector General will also conduct and independent review. In accordance with the Sheriff’s Department policies and procedures, the six other deputies involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.