Home > Announcement, Deaf History > Deaf Police Officer Was Killed Along With A Fellow Police Officer

Deaf Police Officer Was Killed Along With A Fellow Police Officer

September 6, 2010


Officer Anthony “Tony” Wallace and Officer Matt Tokouka

By Bug

Anthony Wallace, a Deaf police officer of the Honnah, located on an island, was mourned last week as news reached Deaf Communities that he was killed along with a fellow police officer Matthew Tokukoa in a tiny Native village in southeast Alaska. They were ambushed and killed by a lone gunman John Marvin Jr. The city administrator doesn’t know what led to the shooting.

Wallace was legally deaf. Wallace had served for the Hoonah Police Department for four years. Many Deaf people knew him as “Tony the Deaf Cop”.

Deaf Police Officer Tony Wallace

According to a story last year in RIT’s (Rochester Institue of Technology) campus news, Wallace was one of few Deaf police officers in the country. 

“I have had tremendous support from my fellow police officers and have gained their confidence by providing every day that a person with my hearing deficiency poses no problems on the job. I have always believed that I could do the job of a police officer and here I am,” he said in the story.

Wallace’s mother was visiting from St. Petersburg, Florida for the first time in Alaska. Debbie Greene was riding on a patrol car along with him and witnessed the shootings. While attacking, mother called for help from her son’s patrol car.                                 

The wife and young children of Officer Tokukoa also witnessed the violence as it began. Tokuoka and his family were in his car. They were chatting with Wallace, who was standing outside the vehicle. The shot rang out, Tokuoka wasn’t actually on duty yet and he got out of car to help injured Tony but he was shot. Both of them were killed.

Tony Wallace attended the National Technical Institue for the Deaf (NTID)/Rochester Institue of Technology (RIT) in New York. He was an All-American wrestler at RIT/NTID from 1998 to 2002. He was just the third member in the history of the program to earn three All-American honors. He was also a member of the RIT Hall of Fame.

Elizabeth Thompson of Fort Collins, Colorado was a Deaf student at NTID/RIT. She knew Tony Wallace as a great and fun guy to hang out with. She has a story to share:

“I personally knew Tony when I met him in 1998. The funny story was, I was freshman at that time, he was a very handsome and all best wrestler. He had that black biggest snake named Payhon (can’t spell right), he knew I had fear for snakes. Know what he did? He threw it on me and oh my! I freaked out big time. He said “ do not freak because that snake can trap me as smell my fear. I was so pissed off.”

On my college year, more I know him, he’s very nice guy and always social w/brilliant people. He was very tight w/Matt Hamill, you know the UFC fighter? I knew Matt from RIT too as well. Tony was “hard of hearing”, 1st I met him, he was more as oral person and social w/lots of people who are oral people. More he picked up more of sign languages.

He then worked as campus Safety at NTID/RIT. When I left, I did not stay in touch then heard that he decided to join Police Acamdecy as remembering that he was highly speaking of his father and uncle were police officers. I was very impressive that he took that path to achieve the goals to prove the doubts and his dreams. As 1st I met him, I rolled my eyes but later I gave him my appluads for all its efforts he made to success to be one of the police officers. Then last week when I heard the right away of the annoucing his death in Alaska. All memories came of 1st time I met him, partied w/him and all those. My 1st thought was how Matt Hamill to react as they were tight and in same group. It came to sadden me and everyone who personally knew him but he was an inspiration for to show that he and few others that can be police officers. He and his name and good memories will never be forgotten. “

Categories: Announcement, Deaf History
  1. Addison Diane West
    September 6, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    My goodness! I was just reading deaf news when I came across this story about the deaf police officer who was shot to death along with his partner. I can’t believe it! The thing that sickens me the most is his own mother whiteness his death. My heart goes out to Tony family/friends, and I will keep all of you’s in my prayers.

    What I do want to know is “Who is the shooter”? Did they catch this man, is he off the streets? it scares me to death to even think whoever got away. This person/persons needs to be prosecuted for this crime they committed. I sure hope Tony and this fellow officer gets justice. Their families deserve that much, and I tell you I sure hope it brings them some closure.

    Sincerely Addison Diane West

  2. September 6, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I’m so heartbroken to learn the shocking news of the deaf cop, Tony, and his partner died from some lunatic shooting.
    Prayers goes to the family and friends.

    As a Deaf member, it hurts to know one talented Deaf member is gone in our small community.



  3. September 7, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Yes, they caught the man after a two-day standoff at his home, and he is now in jail facing $1 million bail.


  4. September 7, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Appear that deaf police is one of first American in Alaska?

  5. Mike
    September 7, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    This story broke my heart. I hope the suspect will be punished very seriously.

  6. Kitty
    September 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    It is very sad for his family and his love to work w police. He would impress us deafs alot and we say “we can do”. He was very handsome.

  7. Addison Diane West
    September 8, 2010 at 3:52 am

    I agree this story is very sad. Broke my heart to hear such a terrible thing happened to a deaf person. But the things that go on in “Today World” is just beyond craze. Never ceases to amaze me how some people can be so heartless and kill another being without a second thought, disbelief. I say our world needs a miracle, seriously, I don’t think we can save ourselves much less the world. The nations are being overrun by people of greed, hate and power. Sadly we’re really getting nowhere, to be frank things are only bound to get worst. Hope Jesus hasn’t forgotten about me 😦


  8. Kelly
    September 9, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    I hope the Suspect will be sentence to death without parole!!! He shouldn’t even have bail set for him as far as I’m concern!!! 😦

  9. David Graser
    October 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I knew him from RIT!. sad news.

  10. SHARON
    October 29, 2010 at 11:05 am


  11. Ed
    November 8, 2010 at 9:09 am

    It breaks my heart whenever a policeman is shot or killed. And this one wants you to even grieve more. Here is a man who cast away the stereo type jobs of the deaf community to become a policeman. This was a plus for the deaf community. Very sad! May he rest in peace! And Kelly, you don’t get parole when you get the death sentence. Parole is for prisoners that are serving long terms in jail. Death is final!

  12. Gavin
    December 1, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Hello my name is Gavin and im deaf. Im working on my progression become a Agent FBI as police. I will be honor to Tony is true brave man as the hope change the world for deaf is the same as hearing.

  13. February 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    i want to thank you very much for did for me

  14. freddy
    March 8, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I don’t beileve that and how this deaf man got a hiring from a city of police dept.. Many cities police look likes pussies or chickens that I am very proud of NYPD because my dad did a very best as a police officer during a very rough crime in 1960 bet 1980′ that year what about me as I want to become police officer so i know how to handle a gun.

  15. freddy
    March 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I want to be police officer and I do my job to for crimes and known a sign language !

    need ur answer?


  16. September 10, 2012 at 4:38 am

    This is one idea that people need to step back from, walk away and have a damned good think about. I now simply found in that part of the contents. I am very inquisitive to see it, but like any other person or in any way.

  1. September 6, 2010 at 1:20 pm
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