Suspect in deputy slaying had warrants

A Castro Valley man who is a suspect in the shooting death of a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy at a Sacramento-area motel on Wednesday had two warrants for his arrest at the time, Alameda County probation officials said Wednesday.

Sacramento County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull said Thomas Daniel Littlecloud, 32, is a suspect in the fatal shooting of Deputy Robert French, 52, who died on the way to a hospital after he was shot at the Ramada Inn on Auburn Boulevard in unincorporated Sacramento.

Two California Highway Patrol investigators were also injured, according to Turnbull.

Alameda County probation officials said Littlecloud has been on active post release community supervision since October 2014 for being a felon in possession of a firearm and evading arrest.

Probation officials said that at the time of the shooting in Sacramento County on Wednesday there was an active warrant for Littlecloud for allegedly violating the terms of his release and there also was a warrant for his failure to appear at a recent federal court hearing.

Littlecloud is in critical condition with life-threatening wounds at a hospital, according to Turnbull.

The Sacramento County case began a little after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday when investigators found an allegedly stolen car in the Ramada Inn parking lot.

Two women got into the car and when authorities tried to stop them, they drove away, prompting a pursuit, Turnbull said.

The pursuit ended in Elk Grove.

One of the women, Priscilla Prendez, 23, of Oakland, was arrested by the CHP on suspicion of vehicle theft and felony evasion and booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail, according to Turnbull. The other woman was questioned and released.

Detectives found that Prendez was on searchable probation and registered to a room at the Ramada Inn.

Alameda County probation officials said Prendez has been on probation since May 2016 for auto theft.

Turnbull said when the detectives knocked on the door of the motel room, a battery of shots were fired through the front door and walls of the room, hitting two CHP investigators.

Holding an assault rifle, Littlecloud tried to exit through the back balcony of the motel room. There were sheriff’s deputies at the back of the building, however, and Littlecloud engaged the deputies in gunfire, striking French, Turnbull said.

Littlecloud jumped into a car, leading officers on a chase and then crashing the car just west of Watt Avenue. Littlecloud was struck by gunfire and was taken to the hospital, according to Turnbull.

The car he was driving was reported stolen from the Bay Area, Turnbull said.