Update: BART Officer Killed by Friendly Fire Identified

DUBLIN, Ca: A BART officer was accidentally shot and killed during a probation search at an apartment located at 6450 Dougherty Road Photo Credit: Autumn Johnson
DUBLIN, Ca: A BART officer was accidentally shot and killed during a probation search at an apartment located at 6450 Dougherty Road Photo Credit: Autumn Johnson

Update, 5:50 a.m., By Bay City News:  A BART police officer accidentally shot and killed by a fellow officer while conducting a probation search in Dublin Tuesday afternoon was a 20-year veteran of the department.

Sergeant Tom Smith, 42, died at Eden Medical Center shortly after he was shot, leaving behind his wife, who is K-9 officer with the BART Police Department, and his 6-year-old daughter, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a website dedicated to fallen officers.

Smith is the first BART officer to die in the line of duty. BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey and General Manager Grace Crunican said in a statement, "The entire BART organization is deeply saddened by this tragic event and we ask the public to keep the officer's family in its thoughts and prayers."

Smith's Facebook page contains a number of photos of him with his young daughter, including a 2011 photo of the two of them with his K-9 partner "Boris."  

"Last picture of Boris, my beautiful daughter and me. He was a great dog and even better partner," Smith wrote in the caption. Friends commented on the photo, offering condolences for the dog's passing.

In several photos, Smith is wearing New York Yankees or Oakland Athletics baseball caps, and his profile picture is of is daughter hugging Oakland A's mascot Stomper. A number of Smith's Facebook friends have changed their profile pictures to a blue line across a black background to symbolize the loss.

The Deputy Sheriff's Association of Alameda County posted the following on their Facebook page last night:

Always Remembered...Sergeant Tom Smith, Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department, California EOW: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Update, 4:22 p.m.: A spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office said that a BART officer was accidentally shot and killed by a fellow BART officer during a probation search at the Park Sierra apartment building located at 6450 Dougherty Road in Dublin Tuesday. 

The shooting happened at 1:03 p.m., according to BART police. The officer was taken to Eden Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries, according to Sergeant JD Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. 

The suspect, who is not being identified, was wanted by BART police for several crimes committed on the BART train, including robbery, and was not home at the time of the incident, according to Nelson.

Dublin police are currently investigating and questioning all officers who were at the scene. According to Nelson, an officer from Dublin Police Services was stationed outside the apartment during the search, in addition to several BART officers who were inside conducting the search.

Original Article—

A BART police officer was shot and killed in Dublin shortly after 1 p.m.Tuesday by a fellow BART officer, according to BART police. 

The name of the officer has not been released yet.

The officer was conducting a probation search when the shooting occurred in the area of Dougherty Road and Dublin Boulevard. The officer was transported to a local hospital, but he did not survive.

BART issued the following statement shortly before 4 p.m.

"BART has been informed that one of our officers has died from wounds sustained during a shooting earlier today. The entire BART organization is deeply saddened by this tragic event and we ask the public to keep the officer’s family in its thoughts and prayers."

The Dublin Police Department has taken over the investigation of the shooting.

Patch will provide more information as it becomes available. 

Bay City News contributed to this report.
Smitty January 22, 2014 at 05:12 PM
@alex..No wonder your comments get deleted. "I refuse to let a cop get away with "murdering" one of their own. A full scale investigation should be launched. A police office claims it an "accident" and gets a free pass with no further questioning." Your comments are completely irresponsible - "murdering"? This incident happened hours ago and you claim this absent any facts to support it? Do you think that in this very public situation there will not be a full investigation and that it is in progress? "no further questioning"? Where does that come from? Free speech on Patch and elsewhere is one thing, but basically falsely yelling "fire" is another.
Maurice Duenas January 22, 2014 at 06:59 PM
One news report sayd that the gun went off one hour after they had entered the house and were simply searching. If that is the case then the @alex conspiracy thery may be valid. Can't say that it was mistaken identity of the suspect cause he was in the po-po. And the wrong color, to.
Autumn Johnson (Editor) January 22, 2014 at 08:02 PM
Subject of Probation Search that Turned Deadly Charged with Robbery http://dublin.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/subject-of-probation-search-that-turned-deadly-charged-with-robbery
Alex January 22, 2014 at 08:31 PM
thank you Maurice for agreeing that my theory could be possible. After reading extensive news articles, I just don't see how this killing can be classified as "accidental". Clearly, no questioning was done on the suspected officer. Less than an hour after the reported shooting, every single news agency was reporting it as an accident. When police clear buildings, protocol is to do it as a team, these two officers would have been in the same room if they were following protocol. I'm no mathematician, but the chance of misidentifying a target that is in the same room with you is close to zero. Especially since the suspect was not of the same color, and he was already apprehended and in jail.
Danielle January 22, 2014 at 11:49 PM
"Clearly no questioning of the suspect officervwas done"? Seriously? The only thing that's clear is that you don't know a thing about law enforcement, or this case. And just because news stations report something it doesn't make it factual. Although, it would be quite a stretch if this were anything but an accident/mistake. With 5 other officers reportedly on scene, it's extremely unlikely this was intentional. Tjis is real life -- not some Hollywood fantasy, cooked up to entertain an audience.
Autumn Johnson (Editor) January 23, 2014 at 03:04 PM
Funeral for BART Officer to be Held Next Wednesday http://dublin.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/funeral-for-bart-officer-to-be-held-next-wednesday
Autumn Johnson (Editor) January 23, 2014 at 03:19 PM
Fallen BART Officer Lived in San Ramon http://dublin.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/fallen-bart-officer-lived-in-san-ramon-dublin
Autumn Johnson (Editor) January 23, 2014 at 03:20 PM
Funeral for BART Officer to be Held Next Wednesday http://dublin.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/funeral-for-bart-officer-to-be-held-next-wednesday
Autumn Johnson (Editor) January 23, 2014 at 07:53 PM
Autopsy: BART Officer Killed by Single Shot to Chest http://dublin.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/autopsy-bart-officer-killed-by-single-shot-to-chest
Veruca Dear January 23, 2014 at 10:41 PM
1. What is the officer who shot his co-worker saying about the incident?? 2. Why was he aiming at the fellow officer's chest?? 3. Why were guns drawn at all if no one was home?
Danielle January 23, 2014 at 10:56 PM
Veruca -- we don't know what the officer had said yet. The investigation is still going on. Ad for #2, officers are trained to shoot for center mass (the torso, which includes the chest) to maximize stopping power, and have the greatest likelihood of hitting the target and stopping the threat. And for #3, guns were drawn because the door was unlocked, but nobody responded when the officers knocked and called out. People don't tend to leave their home without locking the door, so it's reasonable to assume it was unlocked because someone else was there (perhaps a roommate?) And since this tend to hang out with other thugs, it would be reasonable to assume that if someone was inside, and not responding to police, it's because they don't want the police to find them (and that's likely because they have a reason to hide). People who should go to jail (criminals) who don't want to often will fight the cops. And the officers would have to assume that such a person, if present in the home, could be armed and willing to use it. Remember OPD and Lovelle Mixon, and the 4 officers who were killed because Mixon didn't want to go back to jail for raping a young girl? Mixon his on a closet and killed the second to officers. So, sadly, cops have learned the hard way that they have to be prepared to protect themselves until they've confirmed the area is secure.
Autumn Johnson (Editor) January 24, 2014 at 01:25 PM
State of the City Address Postponed for BART Officer's Funeral http://dublin.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/state-of-the-city-address-postponed-for-bart-officers-funeral
Autumn Johnson (Editor) January 25, 2014 at 07:41 PM
If your comment has been removed, please repost the comment without violating the Terms of Use policy found at the bottom of the page.
Mark Tarte January 27, 2014 at 12:40 AM
Maurice, I stand corrected. 830.33 PC is the correct subsection of 830PC for BART, but that in no way means they are substandard, it simply points out their primary duties. They have the same authority to carry out their job anywhere in the state as necessary and have to adhere to the same hiring and training practices as any city or county agency. In fact, BART PD sends their recruits usually to the Alameda County Shieriff's Academy, one of the best in the state and their basic training runs 6 months (Marine Corps boot camp is only 13 weeks) and like any other new officer, must complete a minimum of 400 hours of field training after the academy. BART is getting this rap simply because of the Oscar Grant shooting. Two tragedies separated by 5 years that have nothing in common other than the agency. How many tens of thousands of citizen contacts has BART PD had in that time? This was a tragic case as was the Grant shooting. Every cop who has been through a door on a search like this knows that this is a "There but for the grace of God go I" moment.
Autumn Johnson (Editor) January 27, 2014 at 08:08 PM
BART Officials Identify Officer Who Fatally Shot Colleague http://dublin.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/bart-officials-identify-officer-who-fatally-shot-colleague_8f36a550
iduaro fevol January 27, 2014 at 09:13 PM
First & Foremost ~ Heartfelt Condolences & prayers to Mrs. Tom Smith & daughter. Interesting how the same article is so discernable by every one persons interpretation. Sadly,another human life taken by the means of a firearm. Whether or not you have skills training, no difference between permitted or illegal ownership facts remain and it goes without saying "guns kill"! "accidentally shot and killed another officer" "Accidental or target misidentification" Neither excuses are acceptable for a physical man-made error. Nor do either justify a close range (2-1/2 ft.) single gunshot to the chest; A finger pulled that trigger. "Poor officer training" ~ yes I'd agree is a huge contributing factor ~ yet still does not justify an acceptable excuse for pulling the trigger.
iduaro fevol January 27, 2014 at 09:21 PM
To do a simple routine "probation" search or to gather "evidence" from the reported robbery at Fruitvale BART??? HHmmm..Several "non swat team" yet wearing "bulletproof vests" officers knew Henry Lee was in custody at S.R.J.& the apartment was empty. (Officer Maes filed the robbery report & apt.mgr confirmed apt. being unoccupied) Nonetheless, deemed it neccessary to force entry into this 1 bedroom 725sq ft.older apartment? WOW what a coincidence...3 officers conveniently forgot to wear their uniform required,state issued body cameras? WHAT? the other 2 forgot to "activate" theirs....SERIOUSLY?? nope not caught on tape!
iduaro fevol January 27, 2014 at 09:24 PM
DID THEY EVER FIND THE LAPTOP? OR THE CASE? That is why Officer Maes set up the mission....he wanted to retrieve the stolen merchandise! Personally, BART officers have NO BUSINESS carrying a gun. Period. City Police, County Sherriff, State Highway Patrol - YES MOST definitely should carry a gun. Along with whatever else they feel they need & require to protect them as they're protecting us! Jurisdiction of BART officers, the WHOLE BART OFFICER -hiring, -training -process & -protcol requires immediate overhaul!
Willis January 27, 2014 at 10:15 PM
Funny how everybody is an expert......
Mark Tarte January 27, 2014 at 10:27 PM
Iduaro, what uniform is required by the state for detectives and what "state issued" body cameras are you talking about?
Danielle January 28, 2014 at 09:07 AM
Iduaro, I think you're misinterpreting. 1) The detectives used the fact that this guy was on probation to search his apartment without needing a warrant, in order to find evidence and recover stolen items from his BART crimes. This was not just some random probation search. 2) All officers, SWAT or not, wear bullet proof vests (or at least can and should). 3) See #1 for why they "deemed it necessary" to conduct a search. 4) Only two of the officers there were required to wear cameras (the two uniformed BART officers); the 5 detectives and one Dublin officer present were not required to have (nor were issued) cameras. 6) It's irrelevant at this point if they found the stolen items. Not to mention that I imagine their fallen colleague took precedent over continuing the search. 7) Believe it or not, BART officers have the same powers, training, etc. as city, county and CHP. The deal with very serious crimes (robbery, rape, assaults, murder, etc) on a daily basis. Criminals hardly are on their best behavior while on BART. Plus, even stopping someone for something minor like fare evasion can lead to discovering the person has a felony warrant -- for things like murder, assault on a police officer, etc. And such people will often fight or flee to avoid going to jail. Sometimes they're armed, and willing to use deadly means against an officer in order to escape (remember Lovelle Mixon?) Why should BART Police have to deal with these kinds of people without having a gun to be able to protect their lives? Do they not deserve to come home to their families at the end of the day? 8) Most large departments eventually have issues. See OPD -- two of their officers killed another OPD officer by mistake in 2001. Or look at the whole Riders fiasco. Or the innocent kid the accidentally shot in the face last year. That's already more than BART police has "done" in the last 13 years... yet where are your calls to completely overhaul absolutely everything about OPD, or suggestions that they aren't real cops and shouldn't have guns?
Autumn Johnson (Editor) January 28, 2014 at 09:48 AM
Memorial Fund Created for Family of Fallen BART Officer http://dublin.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/memorial-fund-created-for-family-of-fallen-bart-officer
Autumn Johnson (Editor) January 30, 2014 at 09:30 AM
Hundreds Turn Out to Say Goodbye to Fallen BART Officer http://dublin.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/hundreds-turn-out-to-say-goodbye-to-fallen-bart-officer
Autumn Johnson (Editor) January 30, 2014 at 09:31 AM
Fallen BART Officer Remembered as 'Dedicated Officer' & 'Devoted' Family Man http://castrovalley.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/fallen-bart-officer-remembered-as-dedicated-officer--devoted-family-man
iduaro fevol January 31, 2014 at 02:57 PM
@MarkTarte-The cameras that are "yes" required by state for all BART officers to wear since Oscar Grants shooting at Fruitvale BART.
Danielle January 31, 2014 at 03:08 PM
The cameras are NOT required by the state. They were something BART chose to purchase following the Oscar Grant incident (based on the recommendations in the Noble Report). BART chose to make it their policy that uniformed officers must wear the cameras, and turn them on under certain circumstances (e.g. whenever they make contact with someone regarding a possible crime). Non-uniformed personnel are not required to have or use them (for example, detectives, undercover units, etc.). The state has nothing to do with BART's owning and using cameras.
iduaro fevol January 31, 2014 at 03:17 PM
@Danielle - Knowing the 725sq.ft. apartment was empty, seems it may not have required quite as much man power? I'm just saying. 5 DETECTVES-I simply read the articles in the newspapers & heard what was stated in the news. Obviously I misunderstood, as I thought the 6 whom entered the apartment were all BART officers. Even more reason BART officers shouldn't/don't need to carry guns; they're escorted by city police is most cases. Thanks for your input.
Danielle January 31, 2014 at 03:35 PM
@Iduaro, Officers know that you NEVER assume a home you're searching is empty until you've cleared it and confirmed it's empty. That's how deadly ambushes happen. We don't know the circumstances of why 5 detectives were on scene -- perhaps some were newer and were being trained by the seasoned detectives/Sergeant. Field Training is an important part of police work, and you don't just leave your trainee behind because the public might think you have too many officers at a particular call. Additionally, from talking to officers I know in other departments, that many officers for a home search isn't really all that unusual. Some departments send a heck of a lot more than that. And BART police are not "escorted" by city police. They had one Dublin PD officer there as a courtesy. Something that pretty much EVERY agency does when they go to a call outside their jurisdiction (and if they don't have an officer present, they at least give the city's agency a heads up that they'll be there, to avoid any confusion or issues). Dublin PD sent someone out so neighbors wouldn't call the cops thinking the plain clothed detectives were robbers breaking into a home, and call the police, which could lead to deadly confusion if they didn't already know about what was really happening (and/or have one of their guys waiting outside to let them know everything is cool).
Camaro on Cinderblocks January 31, 2014 at 03:39 PM
"policy that uniformed officers must wear the cameras" I would like to see the actual verbiage of the "Policy". What are the actual guidelines and is there established penalties for not turning it on when it should be on. Are their supervisors supposed to be monitoring whether they have the camera's on randomly? Anyone who works at BART know? Maybe PATCH could actually do some actual investigative reporting....
Autumn Johnson (Editor) March 07, 2014 at 01:05 PM
Local Fundraisers Scheduled for Family of Fallen BART… http://dublin.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/local-fundraiser-scheduled-for-family-of-fallen-bart-sergeant


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