LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTLA/KGET) — The Los Angeles police officer who lost his life after battling coronavirus was from Delano. He was an expectant father of twins and 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 KGET sister-station 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. A GoFundMe has been setup to help support Flynn.
“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. Martinez’s family has set up a separate GoFundMe for funeral expenses.
“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.
According to a 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.
Today we lost one of our own, Officer Valentin “Val” Martinez #38701 to COVID-19. We are deeply sadden by this horrible news. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and all his loved ones. Thank you for your 13 years of service. Rest Easy Brother 🙏 EOW 07/24/20 pic.twitter.com/LRF4ZuXIKY— LAPD Mission Station (@LAPDMission) July 24, 2020
Today we mourn with our LAPD family @LAPDMission after the passing of Police Officer Valentin “Val” Martinez #38701. A 13 year veteran of the Department, Val lost his battle with COVID-19 today. Our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Rest In Peace, sir. pic.twitter.com/VHBmlpkfQ6— LAPD Communications Division (@911LAPD) July 24, 2020
Today we lost Officer Valentin Martinez, who tragically fell to COVID-19.— Chief Michel Moore (@LAPDChiefMoore) July 24, 2020
He worked as a patrol officer within @LAPDMission, dedicating his life to the people of LA. To his partner Megan, his mother, and siblings—our deepest condolences.
Ofcr Martinez, May God welcome you home. pic.twitter.com/rHObUO2lkz