SAN FRANCISCO — The family of BART Det. Sgt. Tommy Smith, who was accidentally shot and killed by a fellow officer during a probation search Tuesday, expressed compassion for the shooter and his family in an interview with a local television station.
Smith, a 23-year veteran of the Bay Area Rapid Transit force who led the detective unit, was killed accidentally by a partner during what was to be a routine search of the Dublin, Calif., apartment of a robbery suspect already in custody.
He is survived by his wife, Kellie Smith — a BART officer in the K-9 unit — and their 6-year-old daughter, who live in San Ramon, as well as by two brothers who work in local law enforcement.
In an exclusive interview with KPIX-TV, the Bay Area's CBS affiliate, Kellie Smith described her 42-year-old husband, known as "Tommy," as her soul mate.
“If you’re lucky to find the love of your life, you hold onto it. I did. I cherished every moment we had,” she said.
She was joined by Tommy Smith’s brothers, Patrick and Ed, who both work in local law enforcement, and all noted that more than one family was suffering in the aftermath of the incident, which is being investigated by the Alameda County Sheriff's Department.
“Not only my family is out here grieving … his family … there’s another officer’s family that’s out there grieving,” Kellie Smith said. ”So I just hope that the community respects everybody’s grief and supports everybody involved.”
Patrick Smith, a field training officer for the Newark Police Department, added: “Your heart goes out to that officer. ... We’re going to mourn the loss of our brother ... but there’s someone else and another family affected by this too. And I feel sorry for them.”
BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey said he was withholding the name of the officer, a 10-year veteran of the department, to give him and his family a chance to grieve and come to grips with what has occurred. He has been named in other media.
In a separate interview with the Bay Area News Group, Patrick Smith described the three brothers and their families as close-knit. The boys all graduated from Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward and lived within 20 minutes of one other in the East Bay, according to the report. They played on the same softball team in their 20s.
Tommy, the youngest, was the first to sign on with a law enforcement agency, becoming a cadet for BART at age 19.
The three were last together at a restaurant Sunday after watching football. Their final words to one another were typical: "Love you. Stay safe."
The BART police department on Thursday announced that Smith's public funeral has been scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m., at the Neighborhood Church of Castro Valley (also known as the Three Cross Church), at 20600 John Drive.