ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis Police officer who was killed in the line of duty has been named 2020 Officer of the Year for his district.
Tamarris Bohannon was selected by his District 2 peers and supervisors for the award.
Bohannon gave the ultimate sacrifice when he was shot in the line of duty on Aug. 29, 2020. He was 29.
A man who had barricaded himself in a Tower Grove South home shot Bohannon.
The Officer of the Year award comes following a series of other honors, both big and small.
The St. Louis Junior Blues recently held a game in memory of Tamarris Bohannon.
Bohannon’s children, ages 6, 7, and 11, wore special jerseys bearing his name.
“It was fun. The kids got to go on the ice and play around with the teammates. They showed them a few tricks,” Bohannon’s wife, Alexis, said.
The event benefitted BackStoppers, a not-for-profit organization that provides financial aid to families of fallen police officer, firefighters, EMS, and other first responders.
The St. Louis area has gotten to learn of Bohannon’s service to the St. Louis area since his death six months ago. But those who knew him best say the man behind the badge was so much more than that.
Tamarris Bohannon was the oldest of four children. He had one brother, Quentin, and twin sisters, Shayna and Tiffany.
“Since he’s our older brother, I look up to him – and every time I have a problem – I just want to get my phone out and text him,” Shayna Bohannon said.
Her big brother was seen as a protector – someone to seek for guidance.
He also had a lovable sense of humor, parents Al and Liz Bohannon said.
“He was a practical joker. He loved to pull prank calls on family members. That’s what I miss,” Liz Bohannon said.
The small memories have provided comfort for the family as it continues to grieve the tremendous loss.
“Always remember those phone calls, those precious memories that we have. Just to hold on to them and never let go,” Al Bohannon said. “For me, that was my buddy. Talking to him on the phone. Just hearing about his day and him hearing about mine.”
Whether as a protector or practical joker, those traits spoke to Tamarris Bohannon’s character, his mother said.
“Tamarris was a really loving, giving person. He cared about his family. Always willing to help anyone else,” she said. “I was very proud of him.”
His brother, Quentin, added: “He was a very respectful person. It’s been very hard for me.”
Another member of the family is too young to know of his uncle. But it speaks to the significance of two life-changing events for the Bohannon family.
Hours before Officer Tamarris Bohannon passed away, his sister, Tiffany, gave birth to a baby boy.
“Looking at my son brings me happiness. That I get to tell my son, in the future, about his uncle. He was very wise. And he was our leader. He was the person that we all went to. That’s what I’m going to tell him – that he’s my hero,” Tiffany Bautista said.
Uncle Tamarris was also a proud father and husband.
His wife and children organized a Thanksgiving food drive in his honor through the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
“It was just something I like to do. He was the best,” daughter Tamara, now 11, said.
Other events would follow.
On a blistery cold afternoon, Feb. 7, 2021, a large group gathered at Forest Park for a balloon and lantern release in honor of Bohannon’s birthday.
“The turnout was amazing. The police department came out,” wife Alexis said.
Alexis Bohannon said she—and other—have been leaning on each other for support. She said not all tributes have to be on a large scale.
“Not just a big balloon releases and things like that. Sometimes it’s just the little things. I made his favorite meal, which is tomato rice and toast, and biscuits and bacon. And the kids loved it. You know, just little things that we do to remember him. It really helps us with our healing process,” she said.