A BART police officer accidentally shot and killed by a fellow officer while conducting a probation search in Dublin this afternoon was a 20-year veteran of the department.
Officer Tom Smith died at Eden Medical Center shortly after he was shot, leaving behind his wife, who also works in the BART Police Department, and his 6-year-old daughter, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a website dedicated to fallen officers.
The shooting occurred just before 2 p.m. at the Park Sierra Apartments at 6450 Dougherty Road, Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.
Nelson said several officers went there to search an apartment belonging to a suspect in a series of recent robberies on BART property.
The two officers entered the apparently empty apartment and one officer accidentally fired a shot that wounded the other officer, Nelson said.
Nelson said he assumes that the officers had their guns drawn as they entered the apartment but that the details of how or why the officer’s gun went off remain unclear.
The suspect was not at home at the time of the shooting.
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.
Dublin police are investigating the shooting. The city of Dublin contracts with the sheriff’s office for police services.
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.”
Rainey said that he and Crunican visited with the officer’s family after the shooting to offer condolences and support.
The shooting marks the first death of a BART police officer in the agency’s history.
Melissa McRobbie/Jeff Shuttlworth/Sasha Lekach/, Bay City News