Reporting Andrea Menniti
GALT (CBS13) – The Galt community is mourning the loss of a beloved officer, and friends and strangers gathered Wednesday at the spot where he was gunned down the day before.
Kneeling in front of makeshift memorial, one the slain officer’s friends reflected on the loss.
“He was like a best friend to me,” the woman said. “He’s selfless, he’s an amazing man who worked his butt off to protect.”
She says the bad guys knew Officer Kevin Tonn, 35, and it’s likely so did his accused killer, identified Wednesday as Humphrey Gascon, 30, of Galt.
We now know the man who allegedly opened fire on Officer Tonn before turning the gun on himself wasn’t the burglary suspect police were trying to find.
Instead, authorities say he was an armed man who happened to cross paths with the K-9 officer.
Strangers visited to spot where Officer Tonn was gunned down. One woman delivered a stuffed dog named Trooper.
“He’s an amazing man,” his friend said. “Galt will never be the same without him.”
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A collection of flowers and mementos also continued to grow in front of the Galt Police Department.
“It’s a small town. You don’t think of things like this happening here. You think your police officers are safe,” Galt resident Kathy Prouty said. “It hurts. This is our family here.”
One note read: “Our prayers are with you, your family, and the men and women of the Galt PD.”
The shooting happened around the corner from where an animal control officer was killed in November. Officer Tonn responded to that shooting and helped to pull the Roy Marcum away from the door.
Tonn’s family called a press conference on Wednesday where the church pastor read a statement from his parents thanking everyone for their support and prayers.
An emotional candlelight vigil at Galt Community Park was held Wednesday night for the beloved officer.
“Every time you’d see a cop car, everyone knew him, so everyone was like ‘is that Kevin?’ But now it won’t be Kevin,” one teen said. “Everybody knew him.”
And everyone here loved him.
“I know we all get to grieve, and we all get to say things to each other,” one mourner said.
More than 100 people from every walk of life grieved at the memorial for Tonn.
“I couldn’t really believe it,” said the teen. “It didn’t seem real.”
The memorial was quickly put together by the city’s teenagers who used social media. The young people are still being touched by Tonn’s life.
“It means a lot when you see teenage kids do something like this to support the officers,” one woman said.
Tonn’s law enforcement family showed up from miles around, some still shaken to the core.
“No officer likes to hear the word officer down,” one officer said.
The officer who didn’t make it to the vigil was Tonn’s canine Yaro. The staff says he’s been grieving ever since he lost his partner.
“Hearing him last night in the back of the police department, just crying, was so hard,” said the officer.
The teens wish they could have done more to say thank you.
“He deserves to be honored for fighting for this town, and he deserves all of this,” said vigil organizer Tyler McIntyre.
Tonn’s funeral will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at Adventure Christian Church, 6401 Stanford Ranch Road in Roseville.