Officer Tsukamoto was born in Tule Lake, California. His family later moved to West Berkeley.
Officer Tsukamoto attended local schools and graduated from Berkeley High School in 1960. Officer Tsukamoto then attended college at Oakland City College, Contra Costa Jr. College and San Jose State University.
Officer Tsukamoto was the first Japanese-American Police Officer hired by the City of Berkeley, appointed on 10-1-69.
After Officer Tsukamoto’s death, a scholarship fund was started in his name. The Ronald T. Tsukamoto Fund provides college scholarships to local youth and helps defray the expenses incurred by officers who attend law enforcement training. For more information on the Ronald T. Tsukamoto Fund, contact Sergeant Michael Holland at 510-644-6119 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
At 12:53 a.m., 8-20-70, Officer Tsukamoto stopped a motorist for a traffic violation on University Avenue, west of Mc Gee. Officer Tsukamoto decided not to issue a citation to the motorist and struck up a conversation with him. During this, a black male walked up to the pair and spoke with Officer Tsukamoto and the motorist. Without provocation, the male drew a gun and shot Officer Tsukamoto, fatally wounding him.
The subject fled to a waiting automobile and this case remains unsolved.
Officer Tsukamoto is buried at Sunset View Cemetery, El Cerrito, California.
If you have information regarding the murder of Officer Ronald Tuskamoto, call or write the Berkeley Police Homicide Detail at:
Berkeley Police Homicide Detail
2171 McKinley Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94703-1596