Hero Down: Montgomery Co. Officer 'TJ' Bomba's Shooting Death Was Self-Inflicted

Montgomery County Police Officer Thomas "T.J." Bomba died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound while on duty Monday.

Silver Spring, MD – Montgomery County Police Officer Thomas “T.J.” Bomba died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound while on duty Monday morning.

Police said that the 38-year-old Officer Bomba was on “a routine patrol” when he called out with disorderly subjects from the top of a parking garage at Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive at about 8:49 a.m., WRC reported.

There were no additional radio transmissions from Officer Bomba after that point, police said.

Acting Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said that responding officers arrived on the top of the parking garage less than four minutes after backup was requested and found Officer Bomba suffering from a gunshot wound.

The wounded officer was transported via ambulance to MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

The chief said Officer Bomba succumbed to his wounds at the hospital.

Police initially treated the officer’s death as a homicide despite the fact that they said early on there was no reason to believe there was any threat to the public.

On Tuesday evening, the Montgomery County Police Department announced in a press release that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the District of Columbia had ruled Officer Bomba’s death was the result of a self-inflicted injury.

Police said the officer had been wearing a bodycam when the incident occurred but that it was not activated.

Chief Jones said Officer Bomba was a 13-year veteran of the Montgomery County Police Department.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

The manner of death came as a shock to his fellow officers who remembered Officer Bomba as a happy fellow who always wore a smile on duty and readily gave thumbs up, WUSA reported.

He was given a Silver Award for Valor in 2008 by the Chamber of Commerce after he restrained a burglary suspect who had shot at a fellow officer and was trying to fire his weapon again.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich told Bethesda Magazine that he and Chief Jones had already been discussing ways to increase access to mental health services for first responders in the county prior to the officer's suicide.

“We need to figure out how we do a better job of supporting them because this is essentially someone who probably didn’t feel he had anybody to talk to and didn’t get the support he needed, so we need to see what to do to improve this,” Elrich said. “This really is a tragic loss. However it happened doesn’t change the tragedy.”

Officer Bomba was a native of Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, according to WICU.

He graduated from Cambridge Springs High School in 1999 and then went on to major in criminal justice at Edinboro University.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Montgomery County Police Officer Thomas “T.J.” Bomba, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Comments (86)
No. 1-15
shooter
shooter

This is beyond tragic.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

Duh.

I'm surprised this site still calls him a hero when he lied right after shooting himself. Actually, I'm not surprised at all.

TWalters
TWalters

Hero’s don’t make false radio calls and take their own life. I know it’s not a popular opinion on this site, but as long as this site mislabeled people that commit suicide as hero’s, I will continue to call out suicide as a cowardly act. We all work with cops that disgust us, so let’s stop pretending that just being a cop makes you a hero. Your actions make you a hero and putting a gun to your head and pulling the trigger does not qualify.

Ofcr.Tammy
Ofcr.Tammy

“Shut down everything. Get everybody down here,”

Bomba told the dispatcher.

The only disorderly subject from the top of a parking garage at Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive at about 8:49 a.m

was Bomba.

BlueLM101
BlueLM101

This is a shame and I don't understand it. The only thing I can think of why there is a higher proportionate number of police suicides is the fact that we deal with some of the worst of society and it wears on us. You kind of lose hope in society and then you have to deal with the regular day to day stuff any person would have to go through, like trying to pay bills, marital issues, family issues and so on. I wish my brothers would reach out for help instead of this happening. I also wish there was away to preempt this from happening through constant support on a consistent basis in the form of annual mental wellness checks by departments.

JBo
JBo

This is really a sad ending to a dedicated officer who served his agency with valor and distinction for 13 years. Bad enough when someone kills an officer but to let problems, emotional overloads and the job overcome someone and make a person believe this is the only solution...absolutely tragic.

If you're in this situation, reach out to someone...friend, priest, family, coworker or a suicide hotline counselor. There's always a better way.

tfort
tfort

Hero? No, he lied and blamed others when he committed “suicide by cop”. He could have ruined people’s lives by being arrested for murder. Cops lie so much they even lie about killing themselves.

Would he get extra payout if he was killed in the line of duty? Was he under investigation? Gambling debts? Affairs? A lying cop will lie about anything.

Take the exact amount of money for what the investigation cost out of his pension

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Maybe people fat shamed him and it made him feel bad. Or maybe he was trying to snitch on colleagues and they made his life unpleasant. Lots of possibilities here.

Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

When you violate your own natural compulsion to survive, (regardless of who it is) you are not operating as a logical and balanced person. You can be surrounded by emotionally close people and yet be desperately alone. There’s no prison like the human psyche when it isn’t ticking right. Then the sufferer rushes for an exit.The worst part; those who are left behind experience an endless echoing of betrayal and abandonment. It’s an emptiness that compounds and swells.

walkintall
walkintall

It’s more than sad that a suicide generates such vitriol by the trolls who habituate this site. Sad.

Musicray
Musicray

Sounds suspicious.... would be interesting to know the whole story... something in his personal life more likely

susieb
susieb

I have never read such HATEFUL COMMENTS! This Officer was a human being just like you or I with all of life's ups and downs and then some - being a Police Officer. No one can understand the toll this job brings unless you have done it or have a family member who has. This Officer received the Medal of Valor in the past. No one knows what may have been going on in his life. Being a Police Officer is one of THE most stressful jobs you can have. My Policeman father was shot in the line of duty (almost fatal), recovered and went back to work only to be cussed at, spit on, attacked and shot at - what a thankless job! Officer Bomba was a good man, good Officer, husband and father. YOU did not walk in his shoes. The bible says, "DO NOT JUDGE!" My prayers go out to Officer Bomba's family - both Blood and Blue.

vwiles34
vwiles34

There is no way to know what caused this officer to come to a point where he felt this was his only choice. And unless someone walked in his shoes and lived in his mind they can't begin to judge what he did. Bu all accounts from what has been released he had been an outstanding officer for many years and that qualifies him as a hero. As for his last act, no one here knows what drove him to this. The pressure of a job where you see the worst of humanity while those you are trying to protect are second-guessing your every move and there is a sea of hate against police. Something in your personal life or something physical. But to feel anything but sadness that this officer felt his life had come to this is cruel and unjust because you don't and never will know what was in his mind. This is a time to pray for him and his family and for all officers who are on this path. And to encourage them to find someone to talk to. And not to care about some of the old school thinkers that you just have to suck it up. Or that you're less of a man or a cop if you reach out for help.

LynnSB
LynnSB

Officer Bomba Deeply Saddened that you chose this avenue to end your pain - your family must be Devastated. Rest In Peace

LynnSB
LynnSB

To All of you Rotten Miserable Worthless People on here who have chosen to add you Ignorant comments about Officer Bomba's death (cause of) ................. I'll bet you have NEVER done a Useful ~ Decent thing for anyone other then yourself your entire life ! The Horrific things these officers have to deal with on a Daily Basis is far more then you could deal with ~ the Horrific things people do to one another, Child Abuse, Rape, Drugs, Vehicle Accidents ~ and Yes defending Worthless POS like you - who would say these nasty things about this Officer -- when he put his very life on the line for you EVERYDAY for over 13 years -- you make me sick ~ your just wastes of Oxygen !!