A couple in Massachusetts is credited with comforting an fallen cop as he lay dying.
In the early morning hours of May 21, Officer Ronald Tarentino of the Auburn, Massachusetts, police force was shot during a routine traffic stop, as reported by telegram.com in Auburn.
Tammy Lemieux and her husband had just gone to bed when they heard gunshots across the street, and subsequent cries for help, reported WBZ. "We heard, ‘Help, officer down, officer down,'" she said.
They were the first ones to arrive on the scene, where they found Tarentino shot in the lower back. "I held him, I tried to keep him calm," Tammy explained.
Soon other police arrived on the scene. "My husband held his head up … and rolled him with the other officer to check the wound."
Despite their efforts, Tarentino, 42, was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital in Worcester.
“I hope he rests in peace knowing he wasn’t alone, that me and my husband were with him, and I want ... his family to be at peace knowing he wasn’t alone,” Tammy added. She had police place an angel figurine close to where she had been sitting, holding the dying officer's hand.
At a press conference on the Auburn Police Department’s front lawn, Auburn Police Chief Andrew J. Sluckis gave a statement regarding his fallen comrade:
In the days, months and years ahead, the Auburn Police Department will continue to support the Tarentino family in every way possible. I ask the public to keep them in your prayers tonight and every night.
... Officer Tarentino will never be forgotten by the men and women of the Police Department and the citizens of our community, many of whom stopped by today to express condolences. ... I’d like to say, thank you very much. Your kind words have meant a lot to all of the men and women of the Auburn Police Department. We will honor Ronald by living up to the ideals he himself lived, which were integrity, hard work, courage and dedication to duty.
... There is not a member of this department that didn’t embrace and like him. He got along with everybody. He was somebody who was always smiling. I never once received one complaint from anybody about him or his job performance. He was an outstanding guy, and we’re going to miss him quite an awful lot.
The accused gunman, 35-year-old Jorge A. Zambrano, was killed in a shootout with state troopers 18 hours later, following a manhunt that lasted an entire day.