‘Always a Tiger’: Oakville teachers give back to family of late officer, OHS alum


Next to current Chief Mary Barton, from left, former Chief Ron Battelle, BackStoppers president, accepts the check from Oakville Principal Tamara Sunkett, standing next to Officer Tamarris Bohannon’s wife, Alexis Bohannon, their daughter and other family members.

Although fundraising abilities are more limited with the Mehlville School District’s high school students still attending all-virtual school, Oakville High School teachers banded together for a donation to BackStoppers in honor of the late Officer Tamarris Bohannon, who was a graduate of OHS.

Bohannon, 29, a St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officer, died Aug. 31 after he was shot while responding to a call Aug. 30 in Tower Grove South. A man from Florida has been charged with murder.

A 2009 graduate of Oakville High School, Bohannon had served on the force for the city of St. Louis for three-and-a-half years.

With the nickname “T” and known as “Bo” to his fellow officers, Bohannon was married to wife Alexis, also an Oakville graduate, and had three children: Tamara, 10; Ayden, 7; and Tylor, 6. His family wrote: “He is a hero to many but most importantly to his loving wife and three incredible children. … The loss of this great man is felt deeply within the St. Louis community and we ask for your prayers and support in the days ahead.”Back

Although Bohannon lived in and protected the city, he was “Always a Tiger,” the school noted on its Facebook page.

In honor of Bohannon and the teachers’ $700 donation to BackStoppers, police officers lined the steps of the school Sept. 30 to accept the check, including St. Louis County Police Department Chief Mary Barton and SLMPD Chief John Hayden. Alexis Bohannon attended, along with family members.

The president of BackStoppers, former county Chief Ron Battelle, accepted the check on behalf of the nonprofit organization, which assists the families of fallen police officers and firefighters in the greater St. Louis region.

BackStoppers typically pays off the mortgage and any debts of families, but in this case a national group stepped in to pay off the Bohannons’ mortgage.

Due to COVID-19, the presentation was conducted with everyone wearing masks.