'I was very happy to see that she went into law enforcement,' Sacramento police officer killed grew up in the East Bay

MARTINEZ, Calif. (KGO) -- Officer Tara O'Sullivan grew up in the East Bay. Her family home is in Martinez, and she went to high school in Pleasant Hill.

People who knew Tara called her strong, passionate, and dedicated. They are devastated by her loss.

Late Thursday afternoon, a classmate - who is also in law enforcement - tearfully left a bouquet of flowers at the base of the pole, where the flag is flying at half staff. He did not want his face on-camera, but was clearly devastated.

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Tara was a 2011 graduated of College Park where she expressed herself through ceramics and was a member of the soccer team.

She was also a member of the Police Explorer program run by the Martinez and Pleasant Hill police departments. They would not go on camera either, but one Lieutenant told me she was passionate, dedicated, and knew what she wanted to do at an early age.

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Neighbor Judy Gadd agreed. "Very outgoing...very outgoing, happy, happy kid."

Tara grew up in a quiet, close-knit Martinez neighborhood. This neighbor, who did not want to be on camera, says Tara and neighborhood kids would play in his yard. He would make hockey sticks for them in his garage.

Gadd says it was not a surprise that she became a cop.

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"I was very happy to see that she went into law enforcement, because she was that kind of person," she said.

After high school, Tara attended classes at Diablo Valley College before transferring to Sacramento State. She had her whole life and career ahead of her. Gadd says that's what makes her loss so terrible.

"I was laying in bed, and what do you do when you wake up? You put Facebook on, there it was. I just could not believe it," Gadd said.

MORE: Make a donation to the Ofc. Tara O'Sullivan memorial fund
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