A 45-year-old Los Angeles Police Department officer has died due to the coronavirus, becoming the agency’s first sworn officer to fall victim to COVID-19.
“It is with profound sadness the Los Angeles Police Department is reporting the tragic passing of Police Officer Valentin Martinez … from complications due to COVID-19,” an LAPD statement said Friday.
“He lost his courageous battle with coronavirus this morning. He is survived by his domestic partner, who is 20 weeks pregnant with twins, his mother and siblings.”
LAPD Chief Michel Moore tweeted his condolences to Martinez’s family Friday afternoon.
“He worked as a patrol officer within (the LAPD’s Mission Division), dedicating his life to the people of L.A. To his partner Megan, his mother, and siblings — our deepest condolences,” Moore said. “(Officer) Martinez, May God welcome you home.”
Martinez was a 13-year veteran of the department, and it is presumed that he contracted the virus on duty, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“He was a hero lost way too early in life,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League Board of Directors said in a statement. “All of our officers have placed themselves and their families at increased risk throughout the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We honor their sacrifice today.”
On Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the following statement regarding Martinez’s death and that of Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy Oscar Walter Rocha:
“The deaths of these two heroes is a very real and painful reminder of the risks these men and women face every single day protecting the people of California. Jennifer and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Deputy Rocha and Officer Martinez as they grapple with these tremendous losses.”
Martinez is the second LAPD employee to die from the illness. Erica McAdoo, a non-sworn senior detention officer, died from the virus July 3. She was 39.