The family of Valentin “Val” Martinez, a Santa Clarita resident and Los Angeles Police Department officer, is in mourning this week after the 45-year-old died from complications with COVID-19.
A GoFundMe Page has been set up in Martinez’ honor to financially assist his partner, Megan Flynn, and the pair’s unborn twin boys, according to the page. As of Monday afternoon, the online fundraiser has raised more than $26,000.
Martinez is said to have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in late May.
A friend and co-worker praised Val Martinez as a “great guy and a superb officer,” when reached for comment online Monday.
“He was extremely hard-working and very kind,” wrote Sgt. Julie Leszczynski of LAPD’s Transit Service Division. “I observed his interactions with the public, and he was always fair.”
She also noted his sense of humor and how he valued his family.
“He often made me laugh out loud with stories of his online dating experiences,” she added. “Last time we worked together at Transit Service Division, he told me how happy he was with Megan and how excited he was to be a dad.”
After being treated at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, Martinez was transferred to the intensive care unit at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, where he died early Friday morning.
Martinez had been a member of the Los Angeles Police Department since 2007, according to the GoFundMe Page.
“Val and Megan weren’t married yet, and her health benefits and other expenses will no longer be covered by LAPD,” reads the GoFundMe page. “As you can imagine, Megan has a lifetime of expenses ahead to raise their beautiful boys.”
On Friday, the LAPD released a statement via their social media saying Martinez was “End of Watch.”
“A soon-to-be father, a partner, a brother, a son,” read the statement. “As courageous in his fight against COVID as he was patrolling the streets and serving Angelenos.”
For more information about the GoFundMe page, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/val-martinez-memorial-fund.