A BART officer was accidentally shot and killed on Tuesday by another BART officer during a routine search they were conducting at an apartment complex in Dublin.
Following the tragic shooting, a clearly grief-stricken BART police chief, Kenton Rainey released this short statement: “Our condolences go out to the immediate family and friends and the extended BART family. We ask that everyone please give us a chance to catch our breath [and] grieve.”
The officers, who are members of BART’s detective unit, were searching for a probation suspect at the apartment complex in Alameda County. The Sheriff’s Sergeant, J.D. Nelson, said that the suspect was already in custody following “some crimes that had occurred on a train.”
Nelson explained that during the search an officer, who had been with the force for about a decade, accidentally shot and killed his colleague Tom Smith: “During that search, it appears one officer accidentally fired his weapon, which struck the other officer and ultimately it was a fatal shot,” he said.
The victim of the BART shooting was himself a veteran, and had been with the force for more than 20 years. Despite the fact that both of the officers were wearing bulletproof vests at the time of the accidental shooting, Smith succumbed to his injuries.
In a joint statement released by Rainey and General Manager Grace Crunican, they said: “BART has been informed that one of our officers has died from wounds sustained during a shooting earlier today. 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.”
It remains to be seen what led to the fatal BART officer shooting. A full investigation is now underway to ascertain exactly what happened.