SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC4 News) – South Salt Lake Police Department confirms the death of Officer David Romrell, 31, who died from injuries after being hit by a car of fleeing suspects Saturday night.
Romrell was a marine and had served multiple tours. He started his career with South Salt Lake Police just under a year ago. He leaves behind a wife and 4-month-old baby.
This is the first officer killed while on duty for the department.
During the press conference, South Salt Lake Police Chief Jack Carruth said their officers were responding to a burglary around 6 p.m. Saturday night at 3575 S. West Temple in an business complex.
The individual who called 911 was inside the place of business that was being burglarized.
When officers arrived, they made contact with two suspects attempting to leave in their vehicle. Officers pulled into the complex and exited their vehicles. The driver of the car then accelerated at the officers, striking Romrell in the process.
Police fired at the car as it attempted to turn onto West Temple, shooting and killing the driver of the car. That suspect has been identified as Felix Anthony Calata, 32, of West Valley City.
The second suspect has been released with no charges made. Sgt. Melody Gray with the Unified Police Department says there were no found causes to file charges.
Because he was released his identity will not be shared, says Gray.
Several officers from surrounding agencies responded to the scene. The officer was transported via ambulance to the Intermountain Medical Center in critical condition. He was rushed into surgery immediately but was unable to recover from his injuries. He died at about 10 p.m. Saturday.
“Our focus last night and this morning has been on David Romrell’s family and our South Salt Lake family who is grieving,” said Chief Carruth. “Officer Rumrell’s body was escorted from IMC to the Medical Examiner’s Office where his body will be watched over by officers until his funeral.”
Chief Carruth said he wanted to thank the hundreds of officers who showed up for the procession.
An officer involved critical incident management team has been assigned to investigate the incident.
“This is a very difficult time for our agency and Officer Romrell’s family,” said Chief Carruth. “We would like to thank all the officers who responded to the incident including fire personnel and all the staff at IMC who worked hard to try to save Officer Rumrell.”
ABC4 News sends their deepest wishes to Officer Romrell’s family, colleagues and his many loved ones and friends.
A Gofundme has been set up for those wishing to help the Romrell family.
We will continue to bring you updates on this story as information becomes available. You can watch the press conference held Sunday morning with South Salt Lake Police here.