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Autopsy: BART Officer Killed by Single Shot to Chest

By Bay City News Service

An autopsy has determined that BART police Sgt. Tom "Tommy" Smith died from a single gunshot wound to his chest, an Alameda County sheriff's spokesman said today.

Smith, 42, was wearing a bulletproof vest when he was shot by a fellow officer during a probation search at an apartment in Dublin on Tuesday, but sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said such vests "don't afford 100 percent coverage of the chest area." "In this case, the bullet struck an area of Mr. Smith's chest that wasn't covered by his vest," Nelson said.

The autopsy was conducted by the Alameda County coroner's bureau on Wednesday. Smith was one of eight officers who went to an apartment at 6450 Dougherty Road in Dublin shortly before 2 p.m. on Tuesday to conduct a probation search.

[Related article: Fallen BART Officer Lived in San Ramon]

The apartment was the home of 20-year-old John Henry Lee, who is believed to have stolen a car from the Hayward BART station on Jan. 15 and then used it to rob a victim at the Fruitvale station later that day, according to police. Lee was already in custody at the time of the search.

Nelson said Smith was one of five BART detectives who were in street clothes, and they were accompanied by two uniformed BART police officers and a uniformed Dublin police officer. Outside of this morning's BART board meeting, BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey said, "Everybody is upset" about Smith's death. "It's sad and it's tragic because he was a fellow officer," he said.

A public funeral for Smith has been scheduled for 10 a.m. next Wednesday at the Neighborhood Church of Castro Valley at 20600 John Drive. There will also be a public viewing on Tuesday, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Chapel of the Chimes at 32992 Mission Blvd. in Hayward. Smith, a 23-year veteran officer, is survived by his wife Kellie, who heads the BART Police Department's K-9 unit, and their 6-year-old daughter.

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