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Police officer shot in confrontation with Galt suspect is identified

1:28 AM, Jan 16, 2013   |    comments
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GALT, CA - The Galt police officer killed during a confrontation with a suspected burglar Tuesday morning was 35-year-old Kevin Tonn.

Tonn was shot just after 11:30 a.m. in a field on the 200 block of F Street, according to Galt Police Department Lt. Jim Uptegrove. Tonn approached a suspected burglar near the railroad tracks and there was a physical confrontation, said Uptegrove. Tonn radioed for help.

PHOTOS: Scene of Galt officer-involved shooting

As a second officer arrived, that officer reported shots fired.

Uptegrove says it appears the subject shot one round into Tonn, who fell. As the second officer approached, Uptegrove said the subject fired several rounds at that officer. That officer and Tonn's canine partner, Yaro, were not hit.

The gunman then turned away and then turned back toward the standing officer before firing his handgun once more at himself, according to Uptegrove.

PHOTOS: Galt Officer Kevin Tonn was killed in line of duty

Tonn was transported  to a south Sacramento hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The shooter was also pronounced dead. His name has not been released.

The officer responding to Tonn's call for help did not exchange fire with the shooter, Uptegrove said. The officer did not have a clear shot, according to the lieutenant.

Late Tuesday night, investigators continued gathering evidence at the scene, where Tonn's patrol car still sat beside the railroad tracks.

Kevin Tonn

Uptegrove said Tonn joined the Galt Police Department in September 2009. He was currently serving with the police canine unit.

Uptegrove described Tonn as "very well-respected and proactive ... It is definitely a loss that will be felt throughout the department and the community."

At Brewster's, a nearby bar and restaurant, Tonn was remembered fondly for his committment, especially time he spent working on a Special Olympics event at the bar.

"Kevin was a happy, happy officer. A great guy," said J.R. Majid, who said Tonn was warm and outgoing.

"Loved the community, loved to be with the people, just a wonderful, wonderful human being," Majid said.

Tonn's cousin, who was at Tonn's parent's home in Roseville Tuesday night, said Tonn lived for community service.

Through her tears, Tonn's cousin painted a picture of the kind of man Tonn was; she said he was dedicated to community service and public safety from a very young age.

"He just always was into playing army and always loved playing fire engines and fire trucks," Tonn's cousin said. "The idea of being a cop, always had the gears and the hats."

She said before he started his career, Tonn was an explorer with the Roseville Police Department. He became a firefighter and then a K9 police officer.

"I just knew he loved his dog, and I know his dog is going to miss him," Tonn's cousin said.

Another one of Tonn's cousins is also a police officer with the Galt Police Department.    

Before Tonn became a K9 officer at Galt PD, he was a fire inspector at Sacramento City Fire.

Frances Ford worked side by side with Tonn every day for two years as a fellow fire inspector.

"We went on inspections together. You could just see how important it was to him- every detail," Ford said. "He truly was the best. He was a great inspector. My heart, it just sank when I got the call."

Tonn was a Board of Directors member of the Foothills K9 Association. Board member Julie Baldwin said Tonn was truly committed to protecting the public.

"For him to have been both (a firefighter and then a K9 police officer) is truly unique," Ford said.


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