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Court order prohibited man who killed Calif. officer from owning guns

Sacramento Bee logoSacramento Bee 1/14/2019 By Sam Stanton and Darrell Smith, The Sacramento Bee

a group of people posing for the camera: Fellow cadets from the Sacramento Police Academy pay their respects and remember Davis police officer Natalie Corona as they pay tribute to the officer fallen during a vigil on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 at Central Park in Davis.

Fellow cadets from the Sacramento Police Academy pay their respects and remember Davis police officer Natalie Corona as they pay tribute to the officer fallen during a vigil on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 at Central Park in Davis.
© Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee/TNS

DAVIS, Calif. - Kevin Douglas Limbaugh, the assailant who gunned down Davis police Officer Natalie Corona last week, was legally prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of a battery case from last September, court records show.

A criminal protective order filed in Yolo County Superior Court on Sept. 24 required Limbaugh to stay away from the Cache Creek Casino Resort co-worker he had sucker punched during a graveyard shift, and ordered that he "must not own, possess, buy or try to buy, receive, or otherwise obtain a firearm or ammunition."

The order, which was to be in effect for three years, also required Limbaugh, 48, to surrender any firearms he owned within 24 hours, and he eventually turned over to police a black .223-caliber AR-15 Bushmaster rifle, court records say.

Despite the order, police said Limbaugh obtained at least two semiautomatic handguns in recent months - a .45-caliber and a 9 mm - and went on a rampage Thursday night that killed Corona, 22, and left bullet holes in a nearby house, a passing fire truck, a text book inside a backpack worn by a young woman and the boot heel of a firefighter fleeing the gunfire.

Davis police said Saturday night that they had recovered the two weapons and that they were not registered to Limbaugh. Investigators do not yet know how Limbaugh obtained the weapons or how he was able to have them while under a criminal restraining order, Davis Police Lt. Paul Doroshov said Monday afternoon.

"It's still unknown," Doroshov said from the lobby of the Davis Police Department, where bundles of flowers and hand-written condolences sit in the doorway and against the walls. "His having these (weapons) is illegal with a standing order, but it is possible to have unregistered weapons. The investigation is going to shake out where these weapons were from."

Limbaugh's attack began Thursday night as Corona, a rookie officer who was on patrol alone, was investigating a minor three-car collision near downtown Davis.

Police say Limbaugh slipped up on the scene on a bicycle, parked in the shadows and then approached Corona as she was handing a driver's license back to one of the motorists.

Limbaugh fired over the right shoulder of the motorist, striking Corona in the neck, then walked over to her after she fell to the ground and continued firing into her.

Police say that after Limbaugh killed Corona he reloaded his handguns at least twice and went on a shooting spree around the block before retiring into a rental home he shared with roommates on E Street. He emerged twice - once wearing a ballistic vest and holding a handgun - as police surrounded the home and used loudspeakers ordering him to surrender.

Instead, police say he shoved a couch against the front door, then shot himself in the head.

Detectives subsequently found the two handguns, as well as a note he left on his pillow that blamed the Police Department for "hitting me with ultra sonic waves meant to keep dogs from barking."

"I did my best to appease them, but they have continued for years and I can't live this way anymore," the note added.

Yolo County probation officials evaluated Limbaugh at the time he was charged with battery in the casino case and found no evidence of mental illness, a source has told The Sacramento Bee.

The criminal protective order was filed Sept. 24, the same day Limbaugh was charged with a felony count of battery with serious bodily injury. That charge stemmed from Limbaugh punching a co-worker, Gilbert Duane McCreath, while the two worked at the casino the night of Sept. 20.

Limbaugh's employment there ended "immediately thereafter," the casino said, and Limbaugh eventually pleaded to a misdemeanor count on Oct. 29 and agreed to give up his Bushmaster rifle to police.

Limbaugh surrendered the rifle on Nov. 9 and a court filing made 10 days later states that authorities had reviewed the state's automated firearms system records and determined "there are no firearms registered to the defendant."

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