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Animal Control Officer's Death Rattles Galt Neighborhood

GALT (CBS13) - A Galt neighborhood is in shock after a Sacramento County animal control officer was shot and killed outside of a home on Wednesday afternoon.

According to Sgt. Jason Ramos with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, the unarmed animal control officer was assisting in an eviction follow-up when Joseph Francis Corey, 65, allegedly opened fire with a shotgun, blasting through the front door.

A female bank official who was with the animal control officer was able to flag down a volunteer with the Galt Police Department, who radioed for aid. The officer fell in the front yard and was taken away and tended to by paramedics but died at the scene, Ramos said. The bank officer was grazed by the shotgun blast, he said.

Galt police asked for outside agency help and the sheriff's department, Sacramento police and Elk Grove police responded to the scene. A SWAT team was assembled at New Hope Church nearby at F Street.

Evacuations were conducted near the shooting scene.

The home was owned by Joseph Corey before being taken over by Citibank, according to the Sacramento County Assessor's Office. A friend of Corey's also told CBS13 Corey owned the home and lived by himself. The phone number listed for Corey was disconnected.

Corey was arrested early Thursday after he walked into his garage where police were waiting.

"He's a really nice guy," friend Rick Jones said of Corey. "Out of character, wouldn't expect it from the guy. I know things are bad, but I wouldn't expect this from him. He might have felt like he had nothing to lose at this point."

Another neighbor called Corey "a hermit" who kept to himself all the time, but Jones did say Corey attended his daughter's birthday party recently. He said Corey was a retired computer programmer who was losing his home to foreclosure.

CBS13's Maria Medina tracked down Corey's relatives in Citrus Heights, but she was told "to go away" after requests for an interview.

A neighbor says she saw Corey's sister very distraught about the news of the shooting.

Galt High School, which is several blocks away from the shooting scene, was briefly locked down, but students were allowed to resume their normal schedules.

A family friend of the victim says he was in his 40s. He was married to a woman he met after starting his job with the county 14 years ago, first as a security guard and then an animal control officer 12 years ago.

A source close to the Sacramento County Animal Shelter says officers go on dozens of evictions every month with either a bank representative or a sheriff's deputy.

The calls are routine. In fact, the National Animal Control Association says this is the first animal control officer to die during an eviction call in the country.

"Animal control officers assist with civil evictions. They assist patrol officers with routine calls for service," said Ramos.

A friend of the victim tells CBS13, "He was a perfect father who did everything for everyone, no matter what. That's what everyone loved about him."

A family friend says the victim leaves behind his wife and a teenage son and daughter.

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