Officer Kevin Tonn was hailed as man devoted to his job and his community by colleagues and residents who expressed their grief and gratitude Wednesday night during a candlelight vigil for the Galt policeman.
The crowd of several hundred gathered around a gazebo at Galt Community Park. At the center was a table featuring photos of the 35-year-old officer and his K-9 partner, Yaro, flagged by vases of roses. Tonn was killed Tuesday morning as he struggled with a man believed at the time to be a burglary suspect. Humphrey Kenneth Gascon, 30, shot the officer before turning the gun on himself.
Two Galt teenagers, Madison Miranda and Tyler McIntyre, organized the vigil, spreading the word via text messages and Twitter. Those who came included friends, law enforcement colleagues and students who knew Tonn as the officer who visited their school with his dog and talked to them about gang violence.
Kevin Papineau, an Elk Grove police officer and president of the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District board, said Tonn spent a day last weekend giving a presentation for about 100 Girl Scouts. The leader, he said, was impressed by his patience, noting that he made sure each girl got to spend time with his dog.
Kevin Harcourt said he didn't know Tonn, but he used to be a firefighter in Galt and came to show his respect for the officer and support for the community. He offered a prayer and noted that he had a T-shirt printed with the words, "One city under God."
Tonn's girlfriend, Robin Gist, thanked the crowd for their support. Tonn, she said, was "first and foremost a police officer."
He would have been amazed, she said, by the turnout for the vigil and the show of love and support.