UK & World News

  • 23 January 2014, 2:34

San Francisco BART Cop Shot Dead By Colleague

A San Francisco public transit officer has been shot dead by a fellow officer while looking for stolen property.

Investigators are trying to determine whether an officer's weapon discharged accidentally, or if Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Sergeant Tom Smith was mistaken for someone else.

Sgt Smith was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where he died.

He was the first on-duty fatality in the 42-year history of BART police, authorities said.

BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey said there were seven BART officers and a sheriff's deputy at the scene when the shooting occurred.

The team had launched a search as part of an investigation into the theft of BART property.

Authorities said a robbery suspect was in custody when the shooting occurred.

Five of the seven BART officers were detectives in plainclothes, including Sgt Smith, according to Chief Rainey.

He declined to name the officer who shot Sgt Smith, but said he was "extremely upset".

"We want to give him and his family a chance to come to grips with what's going on and what's happening," he said.

Alameda County sheriff's Sgt JD Nelson said the officer who shot Sgt Smith has been in law enforcement for more than 10 years.

Sgt Smith, 42, was a 23-year veteran of the transit police and headed up the department's detective unit.

He is survived by his wife, also a BART officer, and six-year-old daughter.

Chief Rainey said: "Tommy was a great law enforcement officer, but an even better son, brother, husband, father and friend.

"He touched many lives in a positive way both professionally and personally and he will be sorely missed."

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