Authorities believe Roy Curtis Marcum, who was shot to death Wednesday while helping with an eviction process in Galt, is the first animal control officer killed in the line of duty in California.
He was accompanied by two locksmiths, who received superficial wounds when police say the suspect shot at the trio through his closed front door on Wednesday.
The incident is eerily similar to an April incident in Modesto, where a locksmith trying to serve an eviction notice was killed along with a Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department deputy.
In that case, the suspect ultimately killed himself following an hours-long police stand-off.
More than 100 law officers from at least 15 agencies came to assist the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department and Modesto police. In that case, intermittent rain showers also pelted law enforcement throughout the ordeal.
In August, the widow of locksmith Glendon Engert, 35, filed a wrongful death claim against Stanislaus County claiming they did not do enough to protect his safety. Like Marcum in Wednesday's incident, Engert was unarmed and did not wear a protective bulletproof vest similar to those worn by police officers.
The suspect in the Galt case, Joseph Francis Corey, had been evicted by an armed Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy Tuesday, but told police he had animals he was unable to care for. Marcum, 43, and the locksmiths were shot at when they returned to pick up the animals, police said.
The locksmiths both received minor injuries treated on the scene, Galt Police Lt. Jim Uptegrove said. After running from the scene at First Street and New Hope Road, one locksmith was able to flag down a police volunteer for help. Marcum was transported to a nearby church, where he was pronounced dead.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.