SSL Police remember fallen officer who was hit by car during burglary
(KUTV) -- Officers from the South Salt Lake Police Department gathered in front of Intermountain Medical Center Sunday morning to honor the fallen officer who was hit by a car during a burglary Saturday night.
Officer David Romrell, 31, confronted a vehicle carrying two burglary suspects outside an industrial business at 3575 S. West Temple St around 5:45 p.m. Saturday night. According to police, the suspect who was driving the car sped toward Officer Romrell and hit him.
Romrell was rushed to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray where he passed away from his injuries.
According to South Salt Lake Chief of Police Jack Carruth, Romrell was a very humble and soft-spoken Marine veteran who served his community just like how he served the country. He was employed with the agency for only 11 months.
"For being who he was, there is a brother-sisterhood with law enforcement officers as demonstrated with the hundreds of officers that showed up at IMC to honor him and to show respect for him," said Carruth. "And, there will be hundreds more showing up as we do that after his funeral services."
Romrell had a long history of service with the Marines, serving several tours before his time with South Salt Lake Police.
"This is a very difficult time for our agency, for Officer Romrell's family, and we want to thank all the officers that responded [Saturday night], fire personnel and all the staff in IMC that worked hard to treat and save Officer Romrell tonight," Carruth said.
Carruth spoke of Romrell's professionalism and personality, stating that he was a "very squared-away officer" who was very kind and personable to everyone.
Romrell was the first line of duty death in the South Salt Lake Police force, so it has been very difficult for Carruth and the other officers when they heard that one of their own died.
"As much as we are prepared and know the risks of this job, we're not prepared for this," he said. "It's taken us all by surprise. It's been very painful."
South Salt Lake Executive Officer and Public Information Officer Gary Keller shared the same sentiment when he spoke earlier with the press about Romrell before his death was announced.
"It's tough on everybody and the entire department when you have an officer [injured, now deceased] to this extent," said Keller. "So, it's very tough. But, we need to do our job, and we need to keep moving on and moving forward."
Governor Gary Herbert released a statement Sunday morning how he and his wife Jeanette are in mourning with Romrell's family.
Other agencies have shared their condolences as well.
The driver of the car that hit Romrell was shot and killed. Unified Police identified the deceased suspect as 32-year-old Felix Anthony Calata of West Valley City. Another suspect was apprehended near the scene. Details about the suspects are expected to be released Sunday.
South Salt Lake Police activated its Officer Involved Critical Incident team when Romrell was sent to hospital and is continuing their investigation.
Romrell is remembered through his wife and four-month-old child.