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Suspect in fatal Auburn police officer shooting dead; trooper hurt in shootout

AUBURN, Mass. — The man wanted in connection to a fatal shooting of an Auburn officer is dead after a standoff.

An Auburn police officer, Ronald Tarentino, was rushed to the hospital after getting shot early Sunday morning during a traffic stop. A neighbor who heard the gunfire said she and her husband comforted the officer as he struggled to breathe.

"I held his hand and I told him everything would be okay and my husband held his head up with a towel. He said, 'help me, help me.' I said help is on the way," said the neighbor.

Tarentino was rushed to the hospital, but died of his injuries.

The suspect, Jorge Zambrano, was killed around 6 p.m. after a four hour standoff with police in an Oxford neighborhood.

"I was really, really scared because like, I didn't know if he was going to make it past all the officers and actually like try to attack," said an 8-year-old neighbor.

The standoff happened in a duplex several miles away from where the officer was killed. In video sent to FOX25, a bullhorn is audible, with someone saying, "come out now."

"It's time dude, come on out. You're going to be treated well, I promise you," said officers over the bullhorn.

Sandra Belanger, videotaping across the street, watched the standoff unfold.

"I wanted people to see what police were doing, how hard they were trying to get him to give up," she said.

Police said Zambrano made his way through a duplex and was hiding in a closet to ambush officers. He burst out and shot a trooper, and then officers returned gunfire, killing him.

The trooper, a former Navy Seal and 18-year State Police veteran, is expected to be okay, said police. He was scheduled to undergo surgery Sunday night on the wound, which was to his left shoulder.

Officer Tarentino was 42 years old and had transferred from the Leicester Police Department two years ago. He leaves behind a wife and three children.

Auburn MA Police Department has identified the fallen officer: http://fox25.com/242UoTR #RestInPeace Officer Ron Tarentino

Posted by Boston 25 News on Sunday, May 22, 2016

Zambrano has an extensive criminal history, says police. Some of those past charges include drug distribution. Sources tell FOX25 that Zambrano had been arrested by the Mass State Police within the last week.

Police are continuing to investigate the homicide and what led up to the original shooting.

The body of Officer Tarentino has since been taken to a funeral home in Leicester, where he lived with his family.

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