Vallejo has seen tough financial times. Its police force has felt the brunt of increasing crime and a shrinking staff. But even as budget cuts lowered moral, one officer went above and beyond the call of duty. Fallen Officer James Capoot leaves behind a legacy that will not soon be forgotten. NBC Bay Area's Cheryl Hurd reports from Vallejo.
Up until now, the outpouring of grief for Vallejo police officer Jim Capoot has been one person or one group at a time reaching out on their own schedule.
That changed Sunday night when the community was able to reach out together during a candlelight vigil on the steps of City Hall.
Hundreds of people turned out on the wet and cold night as a sign of support for a man who lost his life in the line of duty..
Officer Capoot, 45, was shot and killed while chasing down a bank robbery suspect Thursday. He was a nearly 20 year veteran of the force who was well loved by his family, his co-workers and the community at large.
A flower, notes and candle memorial at the Vallejo police headquarter began just hours after his death and has grown to a large display of public grief over the weekend.
His family visited that memorial on Saturday and issued the following statement:
Earlier today, the family and many friends of slain Officer Jim Capoot visited the Vallejo Police Department to view the memorial placed at the stairs of our building and accept condolences. At that time, a family representative read the following:
“The Capoot and DeCarlo families would like to say thank you for the outpouring of love and support during this very difficult time. Words cannot describe how much Jim will be missed.
Jim Capoot was a United States Marine. He was a police officer. He was a coach. He was a loving and caring person. Above all, Jim Capoot was a beloved father, husband, son, uncle, brother and friend. He loved his family and they loved him. He loved the good people in the community that he protected and served, and the community clearly loved him. The outpouring of love and support from the entire community has been incredible and greatly appreciated.
Please show your respect by saying “thank you” to a police officer today.”
Police arrested a man they say robbed the bank and shot officer Kapoot minutes after the shooting.
Henry Albert Smith of Fairfield is being held at the Solano County Jail in Fairfield. He will face charges of bank robbery and murder, police said. His first court appearance is scheduled for Monday.
Capoot's funeral is scheduled for Nov. 29 at St. Basil's church.