The Los Angeles World Airport Police in Los Angeles had not lost an officer in The Line of Duty in the 59-year history of the Department. On April 29 that would all change, when Officer Tommy Edward Scott would lay down his life and California law enforcement would suffer the loss of its fourth line of duty death in year 2005.
Officer Scott was on routine patrol on Lincoln Boulevard adjacent to the North perimeter of the airport when he stopped to question a pedestrian, later identified as 46-year old William Sadowski, of Venice. Witnesses said there was a struggle between the two. The suspect was somehow able to gain control of Officer Scott’s police car, driving away at a high rate of speed, with Officer Scott hanging onto the driver’s side door. As Scott tried to regain control of the police car, it crashed into a fire hydrant, killing Scott instantly.
Sadowski abandoned the police vehicle, then tried to carjack one vehicle unsuccessfully, before seizing another. He drove that vehicle only a short distance before crashing it into and over the airport’s perimeter fence. The vehicle rolled over and trapped Sadowski inside. The fire department responded and transported Sadowski to a local emergency hospital. Upon his release Sadowski was booked at the Los Angeles County Jail charged with murder of a police officer.
Tommy Scott was born and raised in Los Angeles. He had been employed as an Aquatic Supervisor for the Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation for 15 years before joining the Airport Police in October 2001.
Officer Tommy Scott was apparently one of those rare individuals who never met a stranger.
Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Kim Day said, “Officer Scott was a very professional, capable and respected police officer who was well liked by everyone at the airport. As we try to come to terms with this loss, our thoughts turn to the many remarkable men and women, who choose to dedicate their lives in law enforcement service in Los Angeles and throughout our Country”.
“Officer Scott was one of the most respected and admired officers on our Force”, said Airport Police Chief Bernard J. Wilson. He presented the face of Airport Police, as it should be. He was an outstanding officer who advanced quickly to become a field-training officer and a role model for other officers”.
At the direction of Mayor James Hahn the flags at City Hall were being flown at half-staff in memory of the fallen hero. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger followed suit at the State Capitol, offering his condolences to the Scott family.
On the morning of May 6, our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in the Los Angeles Civic Center was filled to overflowing with several thousand mourners; family, friends, and peace officers from a myriad of jurisdictions statewide, all come to pay their final respect. A miles long procession of police vehicles escorted the fallen hero to his final resting-place at Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn.
Tommy Edward Scott is survived by his father Hubert Scott. Stepmother Jo Ann Carter Scott and his older brother Hubert Scott, Jr.