22 Aug 2014
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Fallen BART Officer Lived in San Ramon

Fallen BART Officer Lived in San Ramon

The police sergeant who died after being shot by a colleague Tuesday was described by BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey as "a great law enforcement officer, but an even better son, brother, husband, father and friend."

Sgt. Tom "Tommy" Smith was a 23-year veteran of the department who lived off of Bollinger Canyon Road in San Ramon with his wife Kellie and 6-year-old daughter.

Kellie Gaffey Manzone, a San Ramon resident and longtime friend of
Smith's, described him this afternoon as "wonderful, loving, full of life and
a great friend."

In an article that appeared in the SF Gate, Smith's neighbors described him as a friendly and devoted father who was often outside playing with his daughter or walking his police dog.

"This is just surreal. I just saw him this morning," neighbor Amit Shah said in an article on Tuesday.

Chris Karney, director of Danville daycare 'Kids' Country' described the family as a "really nice family." 

Last year, Smith's widow, BART police K-9 Officer Kellie Smith, brought her police dog to the center for show-and-tell, according to an SF Gate article.

The shooting happened just before 2 p.m. at the Park Sierra Apartments at 6450 Dougherty Road in Dublin. Smith was taken to Eden Medical Center, where he died a short time later.

Smith and other officers were conducting a probation search at the one-bedroom apartment of 20-year-old John Henry Lee, who was arrested last
Thursday after an early-morning car chase that began in San Leandro and ended in Oakland.

Lee was still in custody when officers arrived at his apartment on Tuesday for the probation search, and the officers knew he wasn't there, Rainey said. There were two BART officers in uniform, five plainclothes BART officers -- including Smith -- and an Alameda County sheriff's deputy, Rainey said.

It's unclear why police had guns drawn if they knew the suspect was in jail, but Rainey said at a news conference Wednesday, "you never know what's on the other side of the door."

Rainey said officers who conduct probation searches like Tuesday's typically wear bulletproof vests, but he did not confirm that Smith was wearing one when he was shot.

He also declined to say whether the officers involved were wearing lapel cameras. He said that under the BART Police Department's policy, lapel
cameras are mandatory for uniformed officers and optional for plainclothes

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office is leading the investigation into the shooting, and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office and the BART police internal affairs unit are participating.

Nelson said the investigation is expected to take at least several weeks.

"The nuts and bolts of the investigation won't come out today," he said.

Nelson said investigators are still looking into the details of what happened, including how many shots were fired.

"We have a lot of work to do to put it together," he said.

Rainey said he won't release the name of the officer who shot Smith until next week, however the man has been identified by several news outlets.

"We want to give him a chance to grieve," the chief said.

"I visited with him last night and he's extremely upset, and we want to give him time to come to grips with what happened ... I said we would get through this together," Rainey said.

Rainey confirmed that Smith has two brothers who work in law enforcement in the Bay Area, and Nelson confirmed that one of those brothers is an Alameda County sheriff's deputy.

Rainey said BART police officers receive 40 hours of safety training each year -- even more than the 24 hours of training every two years that is required by state law.

The shooting marks the first on-duty death of a BART police officer in the agency's history.

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