A BART policeman was accidentally killed Tuesday by a fellow officer while on duty conducting a probation search in Dublin, CA.
What is known of the policeman, through his brother, was that he was a 42-year-old man described as being a “great father, uncle and office.” BART representatives have not formally identified the officer but a website honoring fallen policeman listed the name as Tom Smith.
The shooting took place at the Park Sierra Apartments in Dublin a little after 1:00 p.m. It is reported by transit agency authorities that the BART policeman, a 20-year veteran was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley where he eventually succumbed to his injuries.
Sgt. J.D. Nelson of Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said the fallen policeman was accompanied by other BART officers when they were doing a probation search for a male under suspicion of robberies on the transit trains. A fellow officer unintentionally fired his gun as all the officers entered into an apartment and the shot wounded the BART policeman.
The guilty individual they were searching for was reported to have not been at home during the time of the shooting that killed the Bart policeman. The search was to look for evidence from previous robberies that happened on the BART trains.
It appears the officers had their guns ready when they approached the apartment but further information has not been provided on the fellow officer’s gun going off and killing the BART policeman said Nelson.
The accidental shooting that killed the BART policeman is under investigation by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, Dublin police and the FBI. This marks the first time a BART policeman has lost his life in the line of duty.
The complete BART team is affected by the loss of the fallen policeman and prayers go out to the family said General Manager Grace Crunican. Television coverage has since shown fellow officers lined up and saluting their fallen colleague as his body was covered in an American flag and place inside the coroner’s van leaving the hospital.
The death of the fallen policeman is not the only occurrence that has taken place with BART. Back in 2009 Oscar Grant, a black male, was unarmed and fatally shot by a white office after he was held at the Fruitvale station after an altercation. The tragic incident was recorded by many on video and cell phones. The real life story was made into a film produced by actor Forest Whitaker in 2013.
It is difficult to grasp when great police officers are killed in the line of duty. The grief that family members face can be overwhelming. Losing a loved one is hard to bear when initially the fear may have been in place of such a thing happening. It is a job that comes with the possibility that an officer may not make it home to open the front door. Routine traffic stops or searches can turn into something tragic because the job comes with the unexpected. The BART policeman who was killed while on duty was doing what he was trained to do and that is to secure the safety of the citizens.
By La Tasha Taylor