ARBUCKLE (CBS13) — Family and friends shared hugs and tears Friday as they gathered at the family home of Officer Natalie Corona in Arbuckle.
“Natalie was just a person full of life. She loved everybody and everybody loved her,” said cousin, Robert Corona.
Officer Corona was gunned down in the line of duty Thursday while responding to a traffic crash in the City of Davis. She was just 22-years-old. Corona started as a Davis community officer back in 2016 and graduated the Sacramento Police Academy this past summer. She just recently completed training and had only been on the streets by herself for a couple of weeks before the tragic incident.
“She died doing what she wanted to do, which was to be in law enforcement,” said Natalie’s father, Merced Corona.
Merced was one of Natalie’s biggest influences, as he himself served over two decades as a deputy with the Colusa County Sheriff’s Department. He says he was so proud of his daughter following in his footsteps and was honored to pin on her badge when she was sworn in to the Davis Police Department in July.
“When I pinned on Natalie‘s badge, she was so proud and it was just a proud moment for her mom and I. We looked forward to that moment for a long time,” he said as he fought back tears.
Flags were flown at half staff around Arbuckle Friday.
Corona was a two-sport athlete at Pierce High School, playing both basketball and volleyball, and was homecoming queen her senior year.
Her family says she was heavily involved in her church and would do anything for anyone.
“My cousin Natalie was just a very humble person and liked to help others,” said her cousin David Corona.
“That’s all she had to give is that love and that smile,” said aunt and godmother, Rosa Carina. “If you offered her anything, she was always like ‘no no, I’ve got it, don’t worry about it.’ She was always willing to give.”
The Coronas’ are a large, well-known family in Arbuckle. Natalie’s mother is an elementary school teacher. Natalie was the oldest of 4 sisters.
The family says they are now leaning on faith, each other and support from the community to get them through.
“We’re going to get past it,” Merced said. “It’s going to be difficult, we are going to have our grieving time, but we will get past it,” he said