This article is from the archive of our partner .

In a "tragic accident" on Tuesday, a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer shot and killed a fellow officer. It is the first time in the organization's 42-year history that an officer has died in the line of duty.

The officers were searching an apartment believed to be connected to a series of train robberies when the incident occurred yesterday afternoon. Questions have already arisen as to how such an operation could have gone wrong when, according to The San Francisco Chronicle, the searched "[involved] the empty apartment of a suspect who has been in custody since last week."

As spokesperson for the county sheriff said that "It was either accidental or target misidentification." While officials held off on releasing the victim's name, he is believed to be 42-year-old Tom Smith

Agency police chief Kenton Rainey and General Manager Grace Crunican released a joint statement, saying, "The entire BART organization is deeply saddened by this tragic event, and we ask the public to keep the officer's family in its thoughts and prayers."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to