Family of slain officer Tara O’Sullivan speaks publicly for first time since her death

Tara O’Sullivan’s father read prepared remarks at a news conference Tuesday, marking the first time a family member has publicly spoken since her death last week.

“We are here today due to the negative and misleading and hurtful information that has been spread about our Sacramento Police Department and family,” Denis O’Sullivan told a room of reporters while his wife, two children and about 100 police officers stood behind him.

O’Sullivan family members wore matching black shirts with the word “trust” splayed across the middle and the Sacramento Police Department logo in the center.

“We also know that beyond certainty what happened on June 19 falls squarely on one individual,” Denis O’Sullivan said. “The notion that anyone in the Sacramento Police Department is responsible for this senseless murder of Tara is extremely offensive and hurtful. The loss of our daughter falls on one person’s shoulders, and in no way will we ever place blame on any of the officers who displayed such professionalism and courage during this tragedy,” he said, explaining that his daughter loved Sacramento and loved working for the city’s police force.

“She wanted nothing more than to be a police officer,” he added.

After his speech, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn spoke briefly, encouraging community members to support O’Sullivan and her family by going to the memorial service scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at the Bayside Church Adventure Campus, located at 6401 Stanford Ranch Road in Roseville.

Hahn also encouraged people to line the procession route that will pass by the department’s Marysville Boulevard station, where O’Sullivan worked.

The O’Sullivan family and police officers then silently filed out of the room.

Sgt. Vance Chandler, spokesman for the department, said a second overflow viewing area for O’Sullivan’s memorial service will be available to the public at Destiny Christian Church in Rocklin.

Donations to O’Sullivan’s family can be made through the CAHP Credit Union, Chandler said.

O’Sullivan, a new officer, was killed in an ambush-style attack last week while responding to a domestic violence disturbance with her training officer, The Bee previously reported. She is the first Sacramento Police officer killed in the line of duty since William Bean Jr. was killed while making a traffic stop in 1999.

A candlelight vigil celebrating O’Sullivan’s life will be held at 500 Arden Way at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee