Councilmember Jeffrey Tkac dies by apparent suicide in Southwest Bakersfield, authorities said

Posted at 1:55 PM, Jan 05, 2017

UPDATE (January 17, 2017 4:23 p.m.) The Kern County Coroner said Jeffrey Glen Tkac died by a gunshot wound. The manner of death is suicide.


UPDATE (January 9, 2017 12:25 p.m.): Services for Jeff Tkac will be held at noon on Tuesday, January 10 at St. Francis Church. The services are public.


Bakersfield police were dispatched to a residence on Dinard Place for an apparent suicide near Gosford Road and Ming Avenue Thursday morning around 11:35 a.m.

Police found an adult male deceased inside. Multiple sources have confirmed that the adult male was councilmember Jeff Tkac.

A firearm was found at the scene. An official cause of death will be released by the Coroner. The autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

Jeffrey Tkac is a member of the Bakersfield City Council representing Ward 5. Tkac won the seat in the general election on November 8, 2016.

We reached out to Alan Tandy, City Manager for a statement and his response was this:

My office has received a number of calls seeking some form of comment on the attached Press Release from the Bakersfield Police Department.

It is my belief that the Coroner has obligations as referenced in the press release, and that out of respect and to provide time for the family and friends of the decedent to be notified, that some passage of time is the appropriate course of action this day. 

We realize the media has a job to do and will take calls at a later time.

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh released a statement on Facebook Friday morning:

Yesterday, the City of Bakersfield lost a community leader and friend. We are heartbroken by the passing of Councilman Jeff Tkac. He leaves behind a wife and three beautiful children. Jeff accomplished many things for our city as a business owner, planning commissioner, and volunteer police officer. All who knew Jeff knew of his passion for our city and the well-being of its people. He will truly be missed. Our prayers are with his wife Heather and sons Justin, Hudson, and Parker. May God comfort them through this incredibly difficult time.

Bakersfield City Councilmember Andrae Gonzales took to Facebook Friday morning:

I am deeply saddened to hear about the loss of my City Council colleague Jeff Tkac. Like I'm sure most of the community, I am still in shock. My heart goes out to the Tkac family. My thoughts and prayers are with them. Let us all respect the family and give them their privacy at this very difficult time.

Vice Mayor Bob Smith released the following statement on Tkac's death Friday:

My fellow Council Members and I join the Mayor and City Manager in mourning the loss of our Council colleague Jeff Tkac. Jeff was a wonderful friend to many and an impactful leader, whose service to our community included 29 years as a Bakersfield Reserve Police Officer and 20 years as a Planning Commissioner. We extend our sincerest condolences to the Tkac family, especially his wife Heather and his three sons. May God bless them and our entire community. According to his campaign videos, Tkac had three sons and was married.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the Bakersfield Police Department at 661-327-7111.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255


Kern County Mental Health Crisis Hotline: 1-800-991-5272 (24/7)

Kern County Mental Health Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-825


Crisis Text Line: 741-741 (24/7)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (24/7)

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