VALLEJO — Authorities identified a suspect arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a Vallejo police officer as residents and city officials on Friday mourned the officer’s death.
Henry Albert Smith, 37, of Fairfield, is being held on charges of bank robbery and murder for the slaying of Vallejo police Officer Jim Capoot, a 19-year veteran of the force, said Sgt. Jeff Bassett.
Capoot, 43, was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour after the shooting. He did not discharge his weapon, according to Bassett.
Bassett, who held back tears during a news conference Friday, said Smith was wearing a Halloween mask during the crime. Smith was subdued with a stun gun during the arrest and had a handgun in his possession, Bassett said.
“It’s tough for many of us, especially (Capoot’s) family. Nobody is hurting more than them,” Bassett said.
“He was a guy who was loved by everybody,” he said of Capoot. “There is nobody at the police department who is not deeply affected by this.”
The confrontation began when Capoot spotted an SUV wanted in a robbery at a Bank of America, according to police.
He apparently forced the SUV to spin out of control before chasing Smith into a backyard, Bassett said. Other officers arriving at the scene reported hearing gunshots before finding Capoot wounded in the backyard.
Capoot did not discharge his weapon, Bassett said.
After the shooting, officers from surrounding communities, the California Highway Patrol and SWAT teams searched neighborhoods into the night looking for the possible second suspect.
Capoot, a married father of three who volunteered as coach of the girls’ basketball team at Vallejo High School, served as a motorcycle officer, driving and use-of-force instructor and on the SWAT team, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He received two medals of courage, two life-saving medals and other departmental commendations.
People left flowers and candles at a makeshift memorial outside the front doors of the police department’s headquarters on Thursday night.
“Officer Capoot made the ultimate sacrifice today to protect the community he served for almost two decades,” Gov. Jerry Brown said. “His bravery, commitment and selfless service will not be forgotten.”
Capoot’s death is the first slaying of a Vallejo officer since Jeffrey Azuar was killed on April 12, 2000, while trying to arrest a suspect on an outstanding warrant, The Times-Herald reported.
Capoot was the fourth Vallejo officer killed in the line of the duty in the city’s 155-year history.