A BART police sergeant was shot and killed by a fellow officer Tuesday during a routine search of a suspect's apartment in Dublin. The incident marked the first time ever that a BART police officer had been killed in the line of duty, and the first time that any law enforcement officer had been killed in Alameda County since 2001.
The victim was 42-year-old Sgt. Tom Smith Jr., who had served in law enforcement for 20 years, as Bay Area News Group reports. He and three other members of the BART police detectives' unit went to an apartment at 2 p.m. on Tuesday along with several members of Dublin Police and Alameda County Sheriff's departments. They were investigating some robberies on BART property by an individual already in custody, and somehow in the course of searching the empty apartment, one officer fired from outside the door and fatally wounded Smith, who was inside the apartment.
The details of how the incident unfolded are still being investigated, and the name of the shooter has not been released.
The friendly-fire death sent a chill through the law enforcement community, who turned out in large numbers [on Tuesday] to salute the fallen officer at a Castro Valley hospital.
The shooting rattled residents of the sprawling [Park Sierra] apartment complex in the East Bay suburb [where it took place].
Smith's body was draped in an American flag as it left the Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, and motorcycle officers "led a caravan transporting Smith from [there] to the Alameda County Coroner’s office in Oakland on Tuesday," as KTVU reports.
Funeral services have not been announced.