No motive or suspects were immediately connected to the slaying Tuesday morning of a correctional officer in full uniform at his south Sacramento home.
Steve Lo, 39, was preparing to go to work just before 5 a.m. when he was shot in the garage of his home on the 8400 block of Tambor Way, said Sacramento police Sgt. Matt Young. Lo was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.
No motive was given for the slaying although a spokesman for the correctional officers' union speculated that the homicide may have been connected to Lo's job.
Lo had been a correctional officer for about three years and most recently was assigned to the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
He began working for the department in November 2005, said spokeswoman Terry Thornton. He was assigned to the California Medical Facility in March 2006 and has been working various shifts and assignments there since.
Thornton declined to say whether Lo's work might have played a role in his death.
"Immediately the fact that he worked around convicted felons all day long might lead people to speculate that," she said. A possible connection is being investigated, she said, but added, "I'm not going to elaborate on anything."
Thornton said Lo's death has troubled department employees.
"The news has hit everyone really hard," she said.
Officer Lo is survived by his wife and five children.
"Officer Lo was a well-respected, professional officer who carried out his duties with diligence and humanity," CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said. "His death is a great loss to his family as well as his friends and co-workers at California Medical Facility and at CDCR."
"My condolences and prayers are with his family. We will continue to work closely with the Sacramento Police Department to ensure the person or persons responsible for this heinous act will be brought to justice."
Police have no suspects at this time. Detectives are working closely with corrections officials to investigate Lo's killing.
"Obviously, being in full uniform, there was no mistaking that Officer Lo was a peace officer in California and we believe he was murdered because of his service to the citizens of California," said Lance Corcoran, spokesman for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.
"Oftentimes, gang members achieve status within their particular gang by murdering not just a citizens, but a peace officer," Corcoran said.
The union spokesman said he had no evidence that Lo's death had anything to do with his job or any former inmates with whom he may have had a problem.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.