Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Thomas Joseph Keller

Torrance Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, April 17, 1986

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Reflections for Police Officer Thomas Joseph Keller

Today marks 34 years since we lost you Tom. RIP Hero, you're never forfotten.

Joe Rengel
Torrance PD (Ret.)

April 17, 2020

Officer Keller, your bravery on that April day will never be forgotten. You are a prime example of an Officer giving his all. Not only for the city of Torrance, but as a Reserve Deputy with Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, as an Explorer Scout with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, and for your country serving in the Marine Corps. Protecting and serving others seems to be your life goal, that I will be striving for myself.
I am a recruit in the Los Angeles Sheriff Department and am reflecting on the officers/deputies who have given their all. Torrance is my home and I wanted to reflect on someone who is close to home. Your career was definitely cut to short and I know you would have made a big difference in the community. Your commitment to wanting to serve others I will take to heart everyday I put on the uniform. You will never be forgotten Officer Keller.

Recruit Youngdale, Shane
Los Angeles Sheriff Department

April 4, 2019

I remember the day clearly. My Uncle, (Charles) Terry Taylor was part owner of the shop in question, Torrance Sporting Goods. This tragedy weighed heavily on Terry's heart until his passing a few months ago. He sold the store following this event.

I hope Officer Keller and Terry got together in the hereafter so my uncle could thank him for his brave sacrifice.

The finest of Torrance's (and California's) Finest.

Daniel Brownlee (Retired P.I.)

October 29, 2018

Tom, we didn't meet on this plane of existence. Last week I went to a memorial for you at your department which inspired me to visit your gravesite. Your nephew, who is my other half, is a lot like you by all accounts. I wanted you to know that I am very proud of him and I am very proud of you. And that your story inspires me every day.

A friend
A friend

May 30, 2018

Tom was an amazing best friend of my son, Scott Tunnicliffe, from grammar school thru his untimely death. He was a favorite of our family. We never fully recover when someone of Tom's character is taken from us and especially when it happens so unnecessarily.

You will always be missed Tom......Thank you for always being the good friend and great example to my son of what real friendship entails.

Judi Andrews
Family friend

April 18, 2018

Rest In Peace Brother in Blue. Thank you and your family for your sacrifice and service.

Officer Mike Robinson (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

April 17, 2018

Tom. I was just looking at old photos of class 211. I have such good memories of you leading us around marching and singing cadence. May you Rest In Peace brother.

Rick Roelle
Class 211
Sept 24th 2017

Rick Roelle. Retired Lieutenant
San Bernardino Sheriff

September 24, 2017

The death of Tom was the worst day of my police career. He was taken much to soon. You will always be remembered Tom, may you rest in peace.

Officer Gregory Satterfield
Torrance Police Department

April 17, 2017

so young and so many years have passed. You will not be forgotten. I can still see your face and smile as though it was yesterday.

Kathy Diaz Police Dispatch
retired Torrance PD

April 17, 2017

Always in our memories.......

Deputy Sheriff LASD

April 17, 2017

Devil Dawg:

I shall never forget that day. It s difficult to believe that it has been thirty years.

Today (New Years Eve), I began my day by spending some time at the Torrance Police Department Memorial.

(May They All, Rest-In-Peace….)

Semper Fi,
“Major Pain”

Michael B. Parlor

January 1, 2017

I am a Police explorer and was assigned to do a research paper on a fallen officer in the city of Torrance Police Department and i chose to do it on this officer. After reading what happened that day and reading all of these reflections, I feel Honored to be able to be doing a research paper on a well respected and loved Police Officer who dedicated his life to serving this country and the City of Torrance.

Police Explorer

September 20, 2016

On the 30th anniversary of your end of watch, I reflect on the memories of our friendship. Rest in Peace my brother. You are not forgotten.

Jim Iwanek CDCR Retired.
Childhood friend

April 18, 2016

On the anniversary of your death, the residents of Torrance and LA County will never forget the sacrifice that you gave. In our memories always.

Deputy Sheriff LASD
Class 295

April 18, 2016

In a few days, Sunday, April 17, 2016, will be the 30th year since Tom Made his unselfish sacrifice doing what he had chosen to do; to continue to protect and serve the people of Torrance and, as a US Marine, his Country.

Never Forgotten, Always Thought of and Always Missed. See you Sunday Tom.

Pete Velis Jr. Retired
Torrance PD

April 13, 2016

I was living above Frank's liquor store at the time of the incident and was evacuated because of the gun fire. I later found out that Officer Keller had been mortally wounded and I was shocked.

I pass by his memorial on the corner of Sartori and Cabrillo every day and was just want to say a few words.

Ron Mitchell


August 7, 2015

Tom, for some reason today, more than usual, you were in my thoughts and I found this. Always, with a prayer and a thank you for your service. Forever young and a part of my life.


April 22, 2015

Tom, your death was the worst memory in my 30 year career. I was one of the snipers on the roof of a building behind the location. I can remember praying that the suspect would exit through the rear of the location so I could put an end to his miserable life. You were a great cop, and I've missed you dearly.

The annaversery of your death is coming up in a couple of weeks, and I mark the date in my calendar, as to never forget that day.

May you rest in peace.

Officer Gregory Satterfield (Retired)
Torrance PD

March 29, 2014

Hey Tom,

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was standing in my garage at home, less than four blocks away from the scene, when I heard the barrage of gunfire. I turned on my scanner just in time to hear, "officer down!!" I was stunned, and somehow I just knew the outcome...

The aftermath effects me to this day. Learning quite bluntly that you were dead… the funeral preparations… at the last minute you needed a baton for your sam brown -- you were buried with mine… the 10 mile long funeral procession to Santa Barbara… the 21 gun salute… the presentation of the American flag to your mother. My heart bled.

it's been over 25 years now. It was your sacrifice that helped me think ahead and avoid trouble. You helped me make it to retirement in one piece, and hopefully I was able to impart some of what I learned to others. You're still an inspiration. I just want you to know that you didn't die in vain, Tom.

Officer Todd Reynolds, Retired 2012
Torrance PD, (brother officer)

August 12, 2013

Thomas, We had a lot of fun and laughs while in the ranks of the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Academy Class # 2011,You were truly a Police Officers Officer. I never imagined you would become one of the fallen, that the DI'S talked about at the start of the academy. When I'm out fishing on a quiet lake I can still hear you calling cadence as you guide the class.
Your memory will always be in my heart.

Deputy George Housos Retired
Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept.

March 12, 2013

Many years ago we were Explorers with SBSO. We both ventured into our chosen calls. Yours was the first fallen officer funeral I ever attended. Tomorrow at the annual CNOA golf tourney (While playing with your brother-in-law)I shall sponsor two holes in your memory.
While I was able to serve for 30+ years, I owe that honor to those who served before me.
God Bless

Phil Willis Lt. Ret.
Santa Barbara SO

September 21, 2012

Thank you Tom for your sacrifice and for the tremendous impact you have had on my life. As my dad's best friend you last saw me when I was only a year old. But 26 years later I have had so many wonderful people come through my life because of you, and I am proud to call myself your sister in blue. Although our time together was so brief on this earth.... You have been an inspiration and a friend to me my entire life through those you brough to me and the stories they share about the amazing man you were. You are a hero and will always be to me.

Sarah Tunnicliffe, detective
Irvine PD

August 20, 2012

There were many of us that responded on that fateful day to the "Man with a gun call" in Old Downtown Torrance.
That ultimate sacrifice Tom made was felt by many more people than those that actively participated in the response. And the loss and thoughts are still felt.
I thank Susan Petinarides, the witness citizen, that understands the sacrifice Tom made and then was kind enough to express her gratefulness.
Too many Cops make that same sacrifice all too often.

We will never forget you Tom, or his family, his friends and his service to Our Great Country and the ultimate sacrifice for people of the City of Torrance.

Always Rest in Peace Tom

Pete Velis Jr.
Torrance PD (Retired)

June 19, 2012

You were the one that had so much to look forward to at the time of your death. You didn't have to respond to that call but you did anyway because that's the kind of guy you were. Our whole department was in shock and it took a long time for us to begin to gather ourselves together to move forward after that fateful day. I will never forget you! You made us all better officers by showing us your example!
Rest in peace and I thank you for your service to the United States while a Marine and to the City of Torrance while a Police Officer!

Detective Marsha Barnet
Torrance PD - retired 1980-2010

April 18, 2012

We will never forget you Tom. Today so many of us are recalling how much we miss you and how much you meant to us and the department. Can it really be 26 years ago today? This is an anniversay I'd rather not recall. Dana, you and I..talking and laughing that last day not knowing that just hours later things would change forever. We are lucky to have known you, to have worked with you. Forever in our hearts and memories.

Kathy Diaz police dispatcher
Torrance Police Deparment now retired 1978-2010

April 17, 2012

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