‘Heartbroken’ and ‘Mourning’: Community Reacts to Officer’s Shooting Death
Officer Thomas J. Bomba died after a shooting in downtown Silver Spring on Monday
Montgomery County Police Department Twitter page
This story was updated at 8:05 p.m. Oct. 14, 2019, to reflect the latest on the police investigation.
Officials from across the country shared grief and condolences after a Montgomery County police officer died while on duty on Monday.
Support for the county police department poured in Monday afternoon in various statements and social media posts following the death of Thomas “T.J.” Bomba, a 13-year veteran of the police department.
Community members, elected officials and police officers from as far away as San Francisco, California, said they were mourning Bomba’s death. Police officials from New York City, Kansas, Georgia and Florida also offered condolences on Twitter Monday afternoon.
At approximately 8:50 a.m., Bomba, 38, used his police radio to call for backup as he investigated a report of disorderly conduct on the top floor of a parking garage, according to police. He was found about four minutes later with a gunshot wound, then died at a Washington, D.C., hospital.
Police said during an afternoon press conference that they are considering the case a homicide until they reach a final conclusion, but there were no witnesses or suspects. Until then, “all options,” including suicide, are possible, Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones said in an interview Monday evening.
“I just wanted to extend the county’s sympathy and condolences to the family, his wife and children and to the police department on the loss of one of their own,” County Executive Marc Elrich said during a news conference Monday afternoon. “This is a very difficult job and it’s one of those jobs where not everybody comes home when they go out in the morning. It’s been a really difficult day … but I trust the police will carry out an investigation and we will get to the bottom of this and hold people accountable.”
In a Twitter post on Monday afternoon, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he was “heartbroken” to hear of Bomba’s death.
Speaking on behalf of the Montgomery County Council at Monday’s news conference, Council President Nancy Navarro said she will ensure the police department has “whatever support and resources” it needs during its investigation.
County Council member Tom Hucker said he is “heartbroken” for Bomba’s wife and children.
“It’s a reminder to all of us of the risks that police officers in particular, and public employees face,” he said.
Hucker, whose district includes downtown Silver Spring, where the shooting happened, said he wanted to reassure residents that they are not in danger — a point Jones emphasized in the press conference.
“I think people should take Chief Jones at his word that there’s not a public safety risk,” he said.
Hucker said despite the assurances from the police, there has been concern among residents.
“My phone’s been very busy all day with people calling and texting and checking in. It affected private employers in Silver Spring. It affected schools that were on lockdown. It’s something the community is gonna feel deeply for a long time,” he said.
Council member Andrew Friedson wrote in a text message that it had been “an extremely sad day for Montgomery County.”
“I’m offering my support and solidarity for the family and everyone in the law enforcement community who put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe every day,” he wrote.
Capt. Tom Jordan, a police spokesman, said they are asking the public to come forward with any information they might have.
“We’re looking at everything, and if the public saw anything, any encounters with T.J. Bomba this morning … call us. We want to know,” he said.
Heartbroken by the death of Officer Thomas J. Bomba today in the line of duty. Our prayers are with his family, the Montgomery Co. Police, Fire and Rescue community, & with all those who serve & protect our communities. We will continue to monitor the ongoing investigation. pic.twitter.com/CMyT8ZROnP
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) October 14, 2019
— Comptroller Peter Franchot (@peterfranchot) October 14, 2019
Our entire community mourns the loss of Thomas J. Bomba. Every day men and women on the police force act in order to keep our county welcoming and safe. Today Officer Bomba made the ultimate sacrifice. We will continue to monitor the ongoing investigation. https://t.co/oYB0Bdghsf
— Rep. David Trone (@RepDavidTrone) October 14, 2019
Profoundly saddened to learn of the death of Officer Thomas J. Bomba, a 13-year veteran of @mcpnews who leaves behind his wife & 2 children. Let us lift up his family, friends & colleagues in their time of anguish. https://t.co/Tec78OUgKE
— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) October 14, 2019
We’re deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Montgomery County Police Officer Thomas J. Bomba, a dedicated 13-year veteran of @mcpnews. We offer our thoughts, prayers, and sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and our partners at Montgomery County Police. pic.twitter.com/1JdvmpOBP2
— MC Emergency Mgmt (@ReadyMontgomery) October 14, 2019
I am so sorry to learn of MCPD Officer TJ Bomba’s passing. My condolences to his family and friends and the entire Montgomery County Police Department. @MCPDnews
— Will Jawando (@willjawando) October 14, 2019
Terrible news today. A Montgomery County police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty in Silver Spring. Thinking of his family and all the men and women of @mcpnews.
— Delegate Eric Luedtke (@EricLuedtke) October 14, 2019
The entire M-NC Park Police family extends our deepest condolences to the family of Ofc. Thomas Bomba and our brothers and sisters with the Montgomery County Police. @mcpnews
— Park Police MC (@ParkPolice) October 14, 2019
My heart goes out to the family of @mcpnews officer TJ Bomba, who was shot and killed in downtown Silver Spring this morning while serving our community. Keeping his fellow officers and loved ones in my thoughts.
— Evan Glass (@EvanMGlass) October 14, 2019
Saddened to hear about one of our own @mcpnews Montgomery County Police officers shot and killed in downtown Silver Spring this morning. Sending thoughts and prayers to the officer and their family and friends as well as their police brothers and sisters.
— Craig Rice (@RicePolitics) October 14, 2019
This is devastating. Prayers to officer Bomba’s family https://t.co/pUgkPsFtj5
— Natali Fani-Gonzalez (@natalifani) October 14, 2019
Mourning today with Montgomery County at the tragic loss of Officer Thomas J. Bomba in Silver Spring. My thoughts are with his wife and family, and the entire community. https://t.co/OtAlTkzgKq
— Senator Ben Cardin (@SenatorCardin) October 14, 2019
The thoughts of every member of ATF Baltimore are with the family and loved ones of fallen Montgomery County Police Officer Thomas Bomba, and with our @mcpnews brothers and sisters in blue. His service and dedication to the citizens of Montgomery County will not be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/pfSIOBz1UM
— ATF Baltimore (@ATFBaltimore) October 14, 2019
Please keep Police Officer Thomas Bomba of the @mcpnews in your thoughts and prayers. Officer Bomba was shot & killed as he approached a disorderly person on the top floor of a parking garage. The suspect is still at large. Violence against police must stop #EnoughIsEnough https://t.co/95guWKwVtE
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) October 14, 2019
— Kennesaw Police (@KennesawPolice) October 14, 2019
The Secret Service sends our thoughts and prayers to the family, friends and colleagues of fallen Montgomery County Police Officer Thomas Bomba. @mcpnews
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) October 14, 2019
Staff writers Dan Schere and Kate Masters contributed to this story.