Family, friends and colleagues are mourning the loss of Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Deputy Pedro “Pete” Romo, who died Sunday after contracting COVID-19.
Romo, 49, died on Valentine’s Day after having been diagnosed with the virus in December and had spent the rest of his days in the hospital, according to a statement from his colleagues on behalf of Romo’s family that was shared on a GoFundMe page set up to help his family.
The deputy was a 25-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and transferred to the SCV Sheriff’s Station in 2004.
“Pete was really involved with the station on every level,” said Sgt. Kristen Deschino with the SCV station, who created the GoFundMe page on behalf of the Romo family, said Monday. “You can see the outpouring of support from the community, and we’re not even 24 hours from this.”
Romo was “a huge part” of the station’s off-road operations and served as a school deputy at Rio Norte Junior High School and Valencia High School for more than a decade, according to Deschino.
“It was mentioned to me that the students really valued their relationship with him. For so many years he’d seen them travel their four years in high school. He had such a nice connection with them,” she said.
“We’re saddened at the loss of Pete Romo. He meant a great deal to both staff and students, and the relationships he created with both staff and students makes this news even harder to hear. Our condolences to his family and friends for this loss,” said Dave Caldwell, spokesman for the William S. Hart Union High School District.
Romo is remembered as a colleague whose positive attitude was felt throughout the station, according to SCV Sheriff’s Station Natalie Arriaga, who issued a statement on behalf of the station on social media.
“Our station is currently mourning the loss of one of our own,” read the statement, in part. “He was a great partner, family man and friend. He always managed to bring spirit to the station with a smile and positive attitude, as well as took pride in providing security to students.”
Romo is survived by his wife Natalie and his three children Marko, Sean and Natalia, “who are in shock and heartbroken by the sudden and unexpected loss of their loving husband and father,” read the family statement.
More than $48,000 had been raised on the GoFundMe page by Monday evening, surpassing its $45,000 goal. To learn more and to donate, visit gofundme.com/f/support-deputy-pedro-pete-romos-family.