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Slain Galt police officer honored at memorial

Dozens of K-9 officers from around the state paid their respects on Monday to slain Galt police officer Kevin Tonn, who was fatally shot last week while responding to a burglary call.

Tonn was a K-9 handler with the Galt Police Department, about 30 miles south of Sacramento. Before that, he was a firefighter; he also served in the military. Representatives from several police agencies, fire departments and other units attended the memorial Monday morning in Roseville.

Family members told the crowd that Tonn felt that serving his community was the highest calling a person could have.

Tonn was killed Jan. 15, police said. The officer had responded to the area for a burglary call, and was talking to Humphrey Gascon because he was nearby and matched a suspect description.

Gascon opened fire on Tonn, police said, then went into a field and shot himself as other officers responded.

Gascon was not connected to the original burglary call, and his motive for shooting Tonn remains a mystery.

At Monday's memorial service, the officer's cousin, Jarett Tonn, held back tears as he talked about Kevin Tonn; the two worked together at the Galt Police Department.

"He had an incredible sense of humor. Almost nothing Kevin said didn't include his sharp wit or sarcastic comment," Jarett Tonn said.

At 19, Kevin Tonn entered the army as a military police officer. He also served eight years in New York as a firefighter.

He joined the Galt Police Department and was promoted to the K-9 unit with Yaro, his dog.

"He went out of his way to help other people but not in a flashy or public manner," said Jarett Tonn.

That loving character was something Tonn was raised with.

After his son died, Tonn's father asked if counseling would be provided to the family of the man who killed him.

"Giving one's life to save another's is not a tragedy. Kevin knew that he believed that and he lived that until his final breath," he said.


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