Police Officer Nick-Tomasito Birco

Police Officer Nick-Tomasito Birco

San Francisco Police Department, California

End of Watch Wednesday, July 26, 2006

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Nick-Tomasito Birco

Officer Nick Birco was killed when his patrol car was struck by a van being pursued by officers at the intersection of Cambridge and Felton Streets.

The persons in the van had been involved in an earlier robbery of an individual. The victim had accompanied officers during a search of the van and located it a short distance away. As the officers approached it, the van sped away.

The officers pursued the van until it struck the rear quarter panel of Officer Birco's patrol car, causing it to spin around and strike a utility pole. The van then struck two buildings and crashed. Officer Birco had aborted an attempt to lay down spike strips at the intersection and was moving his patrol car when it was struck.

Officer Birco was transported to San Francisco General Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

All four persons were taken into custody. The three occupants of the van were charged with murder, manslaughter, and other charges. The driver was convicted by a jury on September 23rd, 2010, of second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery, evading police, and gross vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Two other suspects were offered plea deals of 15 years, and the fourth suspect was never charged.

On May 30th, 2014, the California Court of Appeals upheld the second-degree murder conviction but overturned his sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

Officer Birco was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Gulf War. who served with the San Francisco Police Department for five years. He was survived by his parents, two sisters, a brother-in-law, a niece, and two nephews.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 612
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicle pursuit
  • Weapon Automobile
  • Offender Sentenced to life

spike strips, vehicle pursuit

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San Francisco Police Department

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