OAKLAND (KCBS) — An autopsy has determined that Bay Area Rapid Transit police Sgt. Tom “Tommy” Smith died from a single gunshot wound to his chest, an Alameda County sheriff’s spokesman said Thursday.
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. He was shot and killed accidentally by Officer Michael Maes while the two were conducting a probation search at an apartment complex in Dublin.
Maes has been put on administrative leave.
Rainey told the board that all questions will be answered but that the investigation will take time.
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.
At a press conference Thursday, BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey said the two uniformed officers at the scene of the shooting were wearing video cameras.
“The two uniformed patrol officers did have video cameras that required by policy, but as for what it actually captured, I don’t know,” Rainey said.