Thunder in the park – one dead, two hospitalized after gunman opens fire on CHP officer in Roseville

Emergency responders descend on West Roseville. Photo by Scott Thomas Anderson

One of the most-sedate neighborhoods in West Roseville was engulfed in brief but devastating gunfire Thursday afternoon, leading to a tragic outcome.

The incident happened in Mahany Park around 12:30 p.m. According to law enforcement, a task force officer with the California Highway Patrol attempted to serve a warrant on a 35-year-old Roseville resident named Eric W. Abril. The two made contact somewhere on the large, grassy expanse. Abril reportedly pulled a firearm and started shooting.

“A CHP officer had been hit by gunfire,” Roseville Police Captain Kelby Newton said. “Upon arrival, [Roseville] officers were confronted by the suspect, still carrying a gun and now seen running from officers on-scene. The suspect began shooting as he was running from police and took two citizens hostage.”

Newton added that the time between when officer was shot and the two hostages were taken was “within minutes.”

The two people whom the gunman grabbed were a married Roseville couple and ultimately the same two individuals hit by his bullets, according to police. One of the hostages, James MacEgan, was pronounced dead at the scene. MacEgan’s wife was rushed to an area hospital.   

Firefighters who have a station house at Mahany Park were able to pull the wounded CHP officer inside with them. CHP Officer Ricardo Ortiz confirmed that the highway patrolman who’d been shot is in stable condition.

It’s been confirmed that the responding Roseville police officers did exchange gunfire with Abril, injuring him. The suspect surrendered at some point during the chaos.

Mahany Park is directly behind Woodcreek High School and almost next to a city library, as well as the Roseville Aquatic Center. At the time that the gunfire broke out, the library had kid-camp activities going on and some 33 children were forced to shelter in place.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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