Beyond Claycord – BART Officer Dies After Being Shot by Fellow Officer

January 21, 2014 16:46 pm · 53 comments

A BART police officer was accidentally shot and killed by a fellow officer while conducting a probation search in Dublin this afternoon, an Alameda County sheriff’s spokesman said.

The shooting occurred at 1:03 p.m. at the Park Sierra Apartments at 6450 Dougherty Road.

Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson told reporters at the scene this afternoon that the officers were searching the apartment of a suspect who had committed various crimes, including robberies.

During the search, one of the BART officers was shot, and it appears he was shot accidentally by another BART officer at the scene, Nelson said.

The wounded officer was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where he succumbed to his injuries, Nelson said.

Nelson said there are no suspects at large, and Dublin police are investigating the shooting. The city of Dublin contracts with the sheriff’s office for police services.

BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey and General Manager Grace Crunican said in a statement, “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.”

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Atticus Thraxx January 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Damn. Horrible. Damn.

Well......... January 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM

I don’t know about these Bart Cops .Gun Safety 101(Never place your finger on the trigger unless you intend to pull it) What a Shame

anon January 21, 2014 at 5:02 PM

What horrific news – RIP fallen officer.
I have always thought that the BART Police force needs to be downsized and should only be responsible for the Trains and the interior of the stations. BART should contract with the local PDs for jurisdiction of the Parking Lots. No more BART Police Cars – they would be expected to travel via BART. In many cases it would even make sense to make Local Police sub-station / rooms at each station.

Danielle January 21, 2014 at 5:05 PM

I just saw this on the news. I’m with JD. Why would a BART officer do a probation search in Dublin? Wouldn’t that be the Dublin police?

This is so sad and tragic.

J. January 21, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Have you ever listened to the BART police scanner channel? Their channel is very busy with traffic. I would say the BART cops get more action than the local PDs do.

Rest-in-Peace, BART Officer.

Jeff January 21, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Hope its not a friend of mine. RIP Officer

I was under the impression... January 21, 2014 at 5:10 PM

…BART cops are a part of the regular force. Their primary focus just happens to be around BART related stuff. I’m sure they can be called to other stuff.

Doreen January 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Such a tragedy. My heart goes out to the officer, his family & all who are involved.

Me January 21, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Absolutely horrifying. Prayers and thoughts with the officers and their families at this time. Lets put the blame game and lame jokes aside and let them figure out what happened and give the department and families time to grieve.

No Chicken little January 21, 2014 at 5:17 PM

So sad.. Bart should leave the police work to real cops. These guy are inept.

Concord Dad January 21, 2014 at 5:20 PM

BART police is just like any other police department. This was a detective that was shot and killed. They investigate crimes that occur at BART just like any other police department. BART has no “citizens” Just riders and employees.

min January 21, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Bart officers go to the same academy and have the same training as all other officers in Calif. They can be ask to do search warrants at anytime just like any other cop.

lg January 21, 2014 at 5:27 PM

So sad!!! God Bless his family!! So sorry for the officer who shot him also!!! His life is also changed forever!!! God Bless!!!!

TinFoiler January 21, 2014 at 5:28 PM

I’m with #1, 5 & 12.

Senseless. A probation search? Because All of BART parking lots are totally safe and no vehicles ever get broken into!!!

Bill January 21, 2014 at 5:31 PM

“Nelson said there are no suspects at large.” I’m confused, are they trying to blame this on someone else? Trigger discipline is the most important aspect of drawing one’s weapon. Crossfire and muzzle discipline are also important, sounds like training has not improved since Oscar Grant.. Shame..

mamatosix January 21, 2014 at 5:32 PM

So sad. So many lives ruined in one moment. Rest in Peace detective and prayers for all involved.

Cassandra January 21, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Maybe the original crime occurred on BART. A very sad tragedy.

Condolences to the officer’s family.

Support our cops! January 21, 2014 at 5:37 PM

JD – your first comment… Too soon. But yeah we were all thinking it.
No Chicken Little – Bart Police are trained at the same academy as everyone else. See “Sponsoring Agencies” @
Jeff – RIGHT?!?! Me too bro, im kindve freaking out waiting for the identity to be released.
Fallen Officer – RIP my prayers are with you and your family.
The officer that fired the shot – Find peace brother, you have a rough road ahead(physically and mentally).

Rebel January 21, 2014 at 5:41 PM

These BART cops needs more training! Why were they doing a probation search when their job is to police trains and stations?

I hope this second fatality will encourage their leadership to enforce stricter training and regulations!

Haters stop January 21, 2014 at 5:45 PM

You law enforcement haters need to step back snd look at your cozy, cushioned lives. Appalling thst you use an anonymous forum to make your snide remarks from the comfort of your keyboard. Police work is of the most difficult kind and those negative posters here obviously haven’t a clue. No day is ever the same and you must constantly expect the unexpected. Yes, even BART officers. Enough of your asinine rhetoric. This is a terrible tragedy of which you know nothing regarding the circumstances. So instead of smarting off, say a prayer or send good will to those that are suffering as a result of this horrific outcome. Police work is never just another day at the office so please don’t compare your life to theirs. God bless.

Me January 21, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Unless there is a dire emergency, BART police should police BART only, and parking lot, tracks, unless called for back up maybe, or in a life and death situation. Probation search? WTH???? Why are they being used for this???????? This just seems very strange to me. BART cops stay away from my place, I do not think of you as real police. Or at least I never have. Real police, with a badge, you follow police orders etc. Pull over if red lighted. Come in your house, you do as they say. If BART police came in my home, or pulled me over ( because I do not use BART ) I would think wth? And be nervous. Like they were outside of their area up to no good or something. At any rate, it is very sad for the family and I feel sorry for their friends, family etc. I am sorry, I just never had a clue BART police had any authority outside of BART. NONE. Wow.

No Chicken little January 21, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Not to be trusted with a gun… Never thought they should have had them in the first place. I know other LEO who think they are not the best of the best. And perps have a lack of respect for them.

Anonymous January 21, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Some comments are irritating. Before people start making stupid statements I put this to you? Ever been a cop? Ever needed one real bad? Maybe just this once the usual police criticizers could be still.

Bill G. January 21, 2014 at 6:23 PM

@Haters stop, do you really think citizens hate on the police because they don’t understand the job? Perhaps it’s because we expect more than what we get. Perhaps folks have seen numerous incidents of police misbehavior.? Could it be that tpolice have become glorified tax collectors? Do I look anyominous to you? You are the any ominous one, why don’t you use your real name?

Wendi January 21, 2014 at 6:30 PM

BART police are the same as every other cop and they run the same risk of being shot by their partners as real cops. We must remember that police (including BART cops) are heroes first and foremost.

judaspriest January 21, 2014 at 6:41 PM

God please watch over this fallen hero’s family and comfort them, may you welcome this man into your kingdom so that he may find peace and allow the family to heal knowing he is with the Lord. Amen

Landana January 21, 2014 at 6:43 PM

The difference between a street officer and a BART is jurisdiction, and training for BART emergencies.
There have been a lot of cutbacks on the force, this is just one way to help an area short on street police and detectives.
Feel bad for both familys.

@ Bill January 21, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Bill, what exactly are your expectations? Police Officers are human, and just like you make mistakes & poor choices, just as fireman, doctors, attorneys, presidents, teachers,etc do. Your comment is ignorant & so are you. Don’t put others at such a high standard & you won’t be disappointed. And don’t believe everything the media puts out there, you would be surprised what the other side of the story is when stories about cop misconduct is reported.

No Chicken little January 21, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Not all cops are heros some yes others not. They have no duty to protect you, only them self. It’s a job. They’re no different than anyone else. It’s what they chose to do to make a living.

Cowellian January 21, 2014 at 6:58 PM

You appear to have censured him, but I’m not sure that it has made any difference.

Chunti January 21, 2014 at 6:59 PM

This is unfortunate that a person lost their life doing a job, but it doesn’t help to put Bart PD in a good light, either.

shadowblade January 21, 2014 at 7:19 PM

“830.33. The following persons are peace officers whose authority
extends to any place in the state for the purpose of performing their
primary duty or when making an arrest pursuant to Section 836 as to
any public offense with respect to which there is immediate danger to
person or property, or of the escape of the perpetrator of that
offense, or pursuant to Section 8597 or 8598 of the Government Code.
Those peace officers may carry firearms only if authorized and under
terms and conditions specified by their employing agency.
(a) A member of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District
Police Department appointed pursuant to Section 28767.5 of the Public
Utilities Code, if the primary duty of the peace officer is the
enforcement of the law in or about properties owned, operated, or
administered by the district or when performing necessary duties with
respect to patrons, employees, and properties of the district.”

Shasta Daisy January 21, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Prayers to all those affected by this tragedy.

Nelli January 21, 2014 at 7:32 PM

I’m sure most of you were not aware that BART police officers did these types of searches routinely. But now that an incident has occurred you’re crying that they should not be doing this, yet they’ve been doing it daily for years without issue. RIP to the officer who lost his life.

Anonymous January 21, 2014 at 8:03 PM

There is a father and husband and son that will never come home again. It may be in good taste to remember that before castigating BART PD.

Elwood January 21, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Way to go, BART police! “According to law enforcement sources, the suspect was already in custody, having been arrested recently.” –SF Chronicle They shouldn’t even have been there. The perp they were looking for was already in jail.

Pete Bennett January 21, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Before you jump to conclusions perhaps they were serving a search warrant related to the kid that was nearly burned alive a week earlier at the Concord BART station.

In 2004 my truck exploded on 680 NB – I was heading to Walnut Creek from Danville. It was arson all along. In 2011 my car was totaled so for me that was it – six offices, seven cars and enough incidents to last a lifetime.

I’ve made a huge stink over the fires in the area. Had my 2004 fire been declared arson then when the Kinder Morgan Broadway Extension plus the San Bruno Fire might be different as my engine crank case oil was replaced with the most likely accelerant – J4 or Jet Fuel – then the oil plug put back with a nice wax seal.

Ten years later they arrested my former Neighbor Danville Officer Stephen Tanabe- the reality is he’s friends with Butler and Wielsch but also there are two deceased BART officers – not killed in the line of duty.

BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey
This is most likely his cousin – no it’s not a suicide. This is the nephew of Richard and Sue Rainey

This is my attorneys brother in law – the son of my ex-wife.

Why am I posting here?

Perhaps we should consider that they put their lives in Danger everyday. We screw with them, complain about them but when Eric Nunn was killed with his good friend BART Officer Craig Wilson you might to consider that along with Wilson another BART officer J.K. died in a highly suspicious suicide in 2007.

Some cops need to get as I’ve had the guns pointed at my head, I’ve know Butler for better than 25 years- I stayed clear of him and Wielsch but they got me.

Even with all the bull hurled at me I still appreciate when a good cop does a good job at being a good cop.

Some are not but most are.

Put your money where your mouth is

@ Bill G January 21, 2014 at 8:10 PM

You are absolutely anonymous. You think using a first name and an initial identifies you? Everyone here is anonymous regardless of name they post. I can say I’m William Jefferson Blythe III and you’d be none the wiser to my true identity.

RIP Officer Smith January 21, 2014 at 8:16 PM names the deceased as Officer Tom Smith (42) who lived with his wife and young daughter in San Ramon. Officer Smith’s wife is also a BART officer.

KenInConcord January 21, 2014 at 8:16 PM

You are asking why a Bart officer was on a probation search.

If Officers were investigating crimes that took place on Bart property and the suspect was on probation, they may the right to search anytime any place. Therefore a “Probation Search”. Other wise the officer would have to go to a judge provide “probable cause” and get a search warrant that would be very specific and full of limitations.

Officers enjoy these guys because pull over a car full of dudes and if one has “search” condition, they can search everything, pockets, trunks, cars……

Theo Huxtable January 21, 2014 at 8:19 PM

your all complaining about the comments on here? Go to sfgate if you want to read some nasty comments, comments here are nuthin.

JAFO January 21, 2014 at 8:21 PM


“They have no duty to protect you, only them self. It’s a job.” Your cynicism makes it clear that you have no real understanding of the full breadth of the duty police officers assume when they put on the badge. They are trained to run toward danger, in part to protect citizens like you who are running away.

Abraham Lincoln January 21, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Bill G did not say anonymous. He said “any ominous”. I implore any of you: stop being threatening and inauspicious!

…and yes. Before you ask, I am that Abe L.

Walnut Creek Resident January 21, 2014 at 8:27 PM

That is so sad that a fellow officer killed his partner there during a procedure they had to follow. Terrible loss and I will pray for the officer who accidently shot his partner. Everyone is so upset by the accident. I hope the families can forgive each other and know it was a terrible accident. Can you imagine how you would feel if you shot your coworker accidently? That is a tough one. Please pray for all of them.

@ Elwood January 21, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Hey Colombo – Just because the suspect was in custody doesn’t change the fact that BART PD was conducing a probation search to gather evidence for their case(s) now does it? Wouldn’t it be nice to gather evidence which would linking the suspect to his crimes so he can be successfully prosecuted? You know like clothing worn during the crime, property stolen during the crime, weapons used during the crime; Stop me if I’m going too fast for you. Wouldn’t it be nice to maybe return some stolen property to the victim(s)? You search a location for more than just a body dumb ass. How about you leave police work to the police and you go back to watching “perps” on Law and Order. By the way, “perps” is an east coast term. Here they are called suspects.

Bill January 21, 2014 at 8:55 PM

Whatever dude, don’t spout about people making anonymous comments while you sit in your armchair comfortably anonymous.. Doublespeaking Hypocrite!!

Pete Bennett - A multi-time victim January 21, 2014 at 8:58 PM

I’ve researched the Rainey’s because of the suicide of Michael who was known as Uncle Fester around the music scene where he had a friends locally. I referenced the wrong person. My apologies.

The goal of my blog is to put an end to these types of tragedies. The suspects are everywhere and at times hard to stop. I’ve been stalked for nearly ten years – I know Tanabe, Wielsch and Butler but not everyone has been arrested in the CNET scandal. There are many more cards to be played with attorneys, a few judges, real estate investors and divorcees.

Let’s hope this was just a mistake and ends there. Give something to the family by sending it to BART HQ – the mom will need plenty.

Elwood January 21, 2014 at 9:03 PM

@ @Elwood

Perp is usually much more accurate and descriptive. Unless you’re arguing that cops go around arresting people just for the fun of it.

I’ll be interested in learning what evidence was found, if any.

itsme January 21, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Just shut up all of you. A man, husband, father, son lost his life. Say a prayer for he and his family. Good God, just shut up!

@ anonymous bill g. January 21, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Yes you are clearly posting anonymously. Bill G. as a name doesn’t make you any easier to identify than John Doe. You have a right to believe what you want but rest assured, if the good men and women in law enforcement didn’t exist to serve and protect you, no matter how uneducated or prejudiced or clueless you are about the job of law enforcement in any capacity, then you would not be able to enjoy the ability to sit behind your keyboard right now and make your nasty comments. Thst is because by the time you read this, some thug would have ribbed beaten and killed you by now either for your worldly possessions or even just for the fun of it. Just because they can. Who would stop them or why? Think about it. Now go ahead and make more of your asinine comments. I will continue to be grateful for the extremely dangerous, difficult, arduous work law enforcement officers perform daily. And usually without thanks. You, Bill G., are a shining case in point.

Lori January 22, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Thank you itsme @49 !!! Rest in Peace Sargent Tom Smith, thank you for your service.

@ Elwood January 22, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Ms Marple let me help you once again since you are a glutton for punishment. BART PD officers have full police powers which extent to any place in the state. BART PD is responsible for policing District property. The only reason why they were doing a probation search in Dublin was because the person and place they were searching had a nexus to crimes committed on District property. The decision to conduct the probation search was neither arbitrary nor capricious. BART had a legitimate police investigatory reason for being where they were and for doing what they did. BART PD would have been remiss in their duties if they failed to search the apartment in Dublin for evidence and fruits of the crime(s). It matters not if they served a search warrant or used the suspect’s probation status to gain entry. Either way the search was lawful. Whether they actually recovered evidence from the apartment is immaterial. Searching the apartment is an investigatory step in a thorough and complete investigation. Notice I said suspect and not perp right? Once a suspect gets arrested they become an prisoner. You have absolutely no knowledge about proper police procedure, how to conduct a police investigation, what is required for successful prosecution or police slang. How could you unless you are part of this culture which you are obvious are not. Better to keep your mouth shut then open it and removal all doubt don’t you think?

Chevrolet girl January 23, 2014 at 10:04 AM

The officer who shot Tom Smith was formally a police officer. So there goes all the poor Bart training theories. This was a horrible accident, one I am sure that officer Maes would like to take back. We were not there and do not know the circumstances so maybe we should stop assuming until more facts come out.

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