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Memorial services set for fallen Galt police officer Kevin Tonn

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Posted: Friday, January 18, 2013 12:00 am

A memorial service has been set for fallen Galt Police Officer Kevin Tonn, the first Galt police officer ever to be killed in the line of duty. He was fatally shot Tuesday in a confrontation with Galt resident Humphrey Gascon II, who shot Tonn before turning the gun on himself.

Visitation for Tonn, 35, will be held from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at East Lawn Memorial Park, 5757 Greenback Lane, in Sacramento.

The funeral is set for 11 a.m. Monday at Adventure Christian Church, 6401 Stanford Ranch Road, in Roseville.

The public is invited to both.

Following the service, there will be a procession to the gravesite at East Lawn Memorial Park, and a reception after the graveside committal service.

Tonn, who graduated from high school in Roseville in 1995, began showing a lifelong interest in serving others when he was in the ninth grade, according to family members.

He went on to serve in the U.S. Army, and worked as a firefighter and paramedic in New York.

But in 2009, Tonn fulfilled his dream by graduating from the police academy and joining the Galt Police Department, where he could work alongside a cousin he likened to a brother.

"Public safety was extremely important to him," said his cousin Jarrett Tonn, a Galt police detective. "Having a job where he could help people — he saw that as being the highest thing somebody could do."

The cousins, whose fathers are identical twins, have long been close, Jarrett Tonn said. So wearing the same uniform in the same small town was like a "surreal dream come true," Jarrett Tonn said.

Kevin Tonn had been on the Galt for force 3 1/2 years, but already had been promoted to the sought-after K-9 unit. He was in the process of raising funds for a new dog for the department, and served on the board of directors of the regional Foothills K-9 Association.

Louise Tully, vice president of the Bay Area-based Police and Working K-9 Foundation, referred to Kevin Tonn as "an awesome ambassador" for K-9 teams around Northern California, as he and his dog Yaro would volunteer to drive miles for educational presentations and competitions. Yaro is trained not only in patrol, but narcotics as well.

"Not everyone goes out of their way to do that," said Tully, who has worked closely with Kevin Tonn over the past two years in an annual event to fundraise for bullet-proof vests and medical supplies for police dogs, and heat alarms for the patrol cars they ride in.

Just last month, Tully saw Kevin Tonn at a class where the foundation distributed trauma kits to participants.

"He was very dedicated to his dog. They were a great team together," said Tully, who learned of the shooting shortly after it happened from a Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy who heard the dispatch on the police radio.

She said a number of K-9 teams from the Bay Area will be at Tonn's funeral.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who also plans to attend Monday's services, expressed her condolences to Tonn's family, friends and colleagues, calling his death a tragic loss.

"(It) reminds us of the risks that law enforcement officers take every day to keep us safe. His service and sacrifice will never be forgotten," Harris said in a written statement.

Meanwhile, authorities are still trying to figure out why Gascon acted so violently when Tonn approached him to ask about a reported burglary in the area.

Gascon, who also lived in Stockton and Sacramento, has no documented criminal history in Sacramento County, according to Superior Court records available online, and Galt Police officials said his history included only traffic violations. There was a report in San Joaquin County of Gascon carrying a club, considered a deadly weapon, and an arrest for driving under the influence in Nevada.

Galt Police Lt. Jim Uptegrove said Gascon was affiliated with the Norteño street gang.

Several TV stations reported that newspaper archives show the suspect's father, Humphrey Gascon Sr., was charged in the brutal murders of a husband and wife in the early 1970s. However, those charges were later dropped.

Jarrett Tonn himself was on duty at the time of Tuesday's shooting and responded to the scene within minutes, having felt in his gut — then confirmed over the radio — that it was his cousin who had been shot.

Asked whether he will be able to return to work after the trauma, he said that it would be difficult — but necessary

"That's the reality of our jobs. It is dangerous, and every police officer that goes out there knows the risks," he said. "We can't change what we do based on a tragedy like this happening, or the bad guys win. We can't let that happen."

For those wishing to make a monetary donation in the memory of Kevin Tonn, the city of Galt recommends one of the following: the Galt Police Officer's Association, 455 Industrial Drive, Galt, 95632; Foothills K-9 Association, 5098 Foothills Boulevard, #3-424, Roseville, CA 95747; or Kevin Tonn Trust Fund #82804382, Premier West Bank, 9340 E. Stockton Boulevard, Elk Grove, CA 95624.

The Sacramento Bee contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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1 comment:

  • Ralph Gerwing posted at 6:26 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    Ralph Gerwing Posts: 14

    Repost for readers here :> i find this story , very sad, for the Community of Galt. i have been following Acampo n Galt, Lodi, for some 4 years now. i have an Internet acquaintance , that lives not more than a few blocks from the shooting location. i hear the train horn from the rail line often, as i listen to her on Video Chat. the hand gun killings here happen far to often. i read these news feeds, and have clipped most stories. it comes down to youth, being irresponsible, youth acting out in hostility and family values not being supported by adult male members of the community. " gun killings have to stop!" Men, young men, n adult boys, get together, talk this out, talk about what manhood really means, my internet acquaintance, tells me, of these happenings, and near happenings, " most often " she things it is getting very bad, Please men get together on this, Fill a community center, n talk this over. i love my internet acquaintance so much " sisters " that i am willing to come down from Vancouver Canada, and help out. Do some serious thinking of what has just gone down. Your community deserves your best effort rtg. yvr.ca

     

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