(KTLA) — A Los Angeles police officer who was an expectant father of twins died Friday after battling coronavirus since late May, officials said.
Valentin “Val” Martinez, who worked as a patrol officer in the Mission division area of the San Fernando Valley, is the LAPD’s first sworn officer to die after contracting the virus, but the second employee to succumb to the deadly respiratory illness.
“Officer Martinez passed away after a long, courageous battle with COVID-19,” Chief Michel Moore said in an email to employees obtained by KTLA.
The 45-year-old is survived by his partner Megan Flynn, who is 20 weeks pregnant with twins, as well as by his mother and siblings, officials said.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to his loved ones, friends, and his Mission Area family as they grieve the loss of a fallen hero,” Moore’s email read. “I am authorizing the wearing of the mourning band in honor of Officer Martinez.”
In a statement, the Los Angeles Police Protective League also sent love and “unwavering support” to Martinez’s family.
“He was a hero lost way too early in life,” the statement read.
In a tweet, the Mission station thanked Martinez for 13 years of service.
“We are deeply sadden by this horrible news,” the tweet read.
A GoFundMe page created to help with funeral expenses described Martinez as a “loving partner” and “valued colleague.”
According to the fundraising page, Martinez tested positive for coronavirus in late May and it is believed he contracted it while working.
“He fought COVID at home for one week before being rushed to Henry Mayo Hospital in Santa Clarita with worsening symptoms,” the page reads.
Martinez was then transferred to a hospital in Santa Monica, where he was on a life support machine and his condition worsened, according to the page.
“Val fought for his life every hour, but unfortunately … Val passed away,” the page reads. “All of the doctors who cared for Val did an amazing job and we are very, very grateful.”
Another fundraising page said Martinez and Flynn were expecting boys.
A trust fund has also been set up for the Martinez family and anyone interested in donating can mail checks to the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union: P.O. Box 10188, Van Nuys, 91410. Checks should be payable to “Blue Ribbon Trust for Valentin Martinez,” and the account number is 2080491 S4.50.
As of Wednesday, the LAPD had a total of 437 employees who had tested positive for coronavirus, officials said. In addition, 254 employees were self-isolating and recovering after being expose, and 237 had returned to work.
Erica McAdoo, who worked as a senior detention officer at LAPD’s Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles, died July 3 after a weekslong battle with COVID-19.