Davis man who killed rookie cop left note saying he was hit with ‘sonic waves’

A 48-year-old man identified as the gunman in the ambush killing of a 22-year-old Davis police officer left a note in his apartment claiming that police had targeted him with “ultra sonic waves meant to keep dogs from barking.”

The note was released by Davis police a few hours after Kevin Douglas Limbaugh of Davis was identified as the man who shot and killed Officer Natalie Corona on Thursday while the rookie officer was responding to a routine collision in downtown Davis, according to the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office.

Hours after the shooting, Limbaugh killed himself with a single gunshot wound to the head as police closed in, said Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel. The note was found during a search by police of Limbaugh’s apartment.

“The Davis Police department has been hitting me with ultra sonic waves meant to keep dogs from barking,” read the note, which was typed on a computer. “I notified the press, internal affairs, and even the FBI about it. I am highly sensitive to its affect (sic) on my inner ear. I did my best to appease them, but they have continued for years and I can’t live this way anymore.”

According to Lt. Paul Doroshov of the Davis police, there’s no way to tell exactly when the note was typed.

“There have been a lot of rumors as to why this happened, why he did what he did, and we’re hoping this sheds some light,” Doroshov said. As for the placement of the note, which was found face-up on Limbaugh’s bed, “I really can’t speculate as to why it was there like that.”

The killing of Corona, and the shooting spree that followed it, was not Limbaugh’s first brush with the law.

In September, Limbaugh was arrested at his Davis home — the same place where he shot himself — on a felony charge of battery with serious bodily injury, according to Yolo County Superior Court records.

The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor in October after a plea deal in which Limbaugh pleaded no contest. The deal resulted in an eight-day jail sentence and probation.

Limbaugh was also ordered to surrender a black .223-caliber Bushmaster semiautomatic assault rifle, according to court records.

Before the September incident, Limbaugh had no arrest record in Davis.

Court records show that Limbaugh did not report having any other registered weapons. Pytel said Friday he did not know whether the two semiautomatic handguns believed to have been used in Corona’s slaying were obtained legally.

Records show that Limbaugh was a resident of Woodland (Yolo County) in 2004-05. He also had lived in Florida, New Mexico and Michigan.

The shooting occurred Thursday night, when Limbaugh rode up on a bicycle and opened fire. Corona fell to the ground after she was struck by the first bullet, but Limbaugh continued to fire, hitting her several times, including once in the neck, Pytel said.

Limbaugh then reloaded his handgun and continued shooting — striking a passing bus, the backpack of a woman and the boot of a firefighter — before going back to his home near Fifth and E streets. He was identified as the suspect when authorities discovered a backpack he left at the scene.

Officers later surrounded the home and ordered Limbaugh to come outside. Wearing a bulletproof vest, he came outside, yelled something at the officers and then went back into the house again. He emerged a second time — this time with a gun — before retreating indoors. No shots were fired by the officers, Pytel said.

Officers sent a robot into the house after hearing a single gunshot. Limbaugh was found to have shot himself in the head, police reported.

It does not appear that Limbaugh and Corona had ever crossed paths before the shooting, Pytel said.

On Friday, the chief met with the department’s officers and to tell them about the timeline of the shooting and Corona’s injuries in advance of the public announcement, said Amy Juarez, a police spokeswoman.

The chief also offered grief counseling for members of his department.

“We were all just in shock,” Juarez said. “We see it every day on the news, on our surrounding agencies’ social media about officer killings, and it’s heartbreaking every time. But you never think it’s going to be your department.”

A memorial service for Corona is expected to be held in about 10 days, Juarez added.

Meanwhile, Davis is trying to find a way to make sense of the senseless killing. It was the first on-duty officer death there in nearly 60 years.

Stephanie Teague, 38, who organized a candlelight vigil for Corona on Saturday evening at Central Park, said the entire town has been stepping forward to help.

Businesses and residents are donating food and supplies to family members. Many families have donated dozens of candles to be used at the vigil and volunteered to clean up after the event.

“I want this to be a time of mourning, a time for people to band together and be a community and grieve together,” Teague said.

Thursday night is hard to forget for Mayor Brett Lee. He was in a meeting when he received a text message that an active shooter was loose downtown.

After the lockdown ended, he raced over to the Police Department and waited with officers and City Council members for news about Corona and the suspect.

“We need to be supportive of our first responders, of the Police Department and the Fire Department, who on a daily basis are asked to step into situations that are challenging to their lives,” Lee said. “Any town in America can experience this.”

Corona’s death is one of several recent, high-profile killings of law enforcement officers. Less than three weeks ago, Cpl. Ronil Singh was fatally shot in Newman (Stanislaus County) during a traffic stop.

Officer Chateri Payne, 22, was shot and killed Wednesday in Shreveport, La.

“Of course, this is really surprising,” said Teague, the vigil organizer. “Obviously, you don’t think this is going to happen. But to a certain extent, this is the world we live in. Davis is not immune to the rest of the world.”

Sarah Ravani is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: sravani@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @SarRavani

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Davis-man-48-identified-as-shooter-in-slaying-13529125.php.

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