VALLEJO, Calif. — A memorial service for slain Vallejo Police Officer Jim Capoot was held at Vallejo High School’s football field on Nov. 30. Officer Capoot was 45.
According to The Reporter, approximately 5,000 people were present at his memorial service, with nearly 3,500 officers and 1,500 guests. Gov. Jerry Brown, the Vallejo City Council, and representatives from local and state offices were present.
On Thursday, November 17 at approximately 1:30 p.m., Capoot responded to a bank robbery that occurred at a Bank of America on Springs Road in Vallejo. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Capoot was shot and killed during a foot chase after bank robbery suspect, Henry Smith, 37, lost control of his car and ran into a backyard. Capoot was found with multiple gunshot wounds in his back.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Smith plead not guilty on Tuesday to homicide charges with special circumstances that could lead to a death sentence.
Many anecdotes about Capoot were delivered during the hour-and-a-half long ceremony. The services also included an eight-helicopter flyover, a 21-gun salute and 40 mounted officers stationed under each football goal post.
Vallejo Police Sgt. Jeff Bassett said Capoot served on the Vallejo Police Department for 19 years and received two Medals of Courage. Capoot was formerly a California Highway Patrol officer as well as an ex-U.S. Marine.
“He’s a guy that’s loved by everybody,” Bassett said. “We’re a small police department, we’re a tight family. There’s nobody in the police department who was not affected by this.”
Capoot’s obituary in The Vallejo Times-Herald stated that he coached the Vallejo High School varsity girls basketball team, served as a motorcycle officer, motorcycle instructor, driving instructor, and SWAT officer. In addition, he was a Vacaville resident since 1995 and is survived by a wife and three daughters.
“I found him to be a sound decision-maker, a person with tactical competence and a person who had a concern for the citizens of Vallejo,” said Vallejo Police Chief Robert Nichelini. “And, at times, you could tell he was a Marine.”