Auburn, MA - The family of murdered police officer, Ronald Tarentino Jr., has extended their thanks to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for their support following his tragic death. Thanks in large part to the Super Bowl winning team, a recent event raised $86,000 for his widow and three sons.
Auburn Police Officer Ronald Tarentino was shot and killed on May 22, 2016 while on on a traffic stop in Auburn. Career criminal Jorge Zambrano fatally shot Officer Tarentino as he approached the car.
Zambrano had only been out of jail for six days at the time of the shooting. His previous cases came under harsh scrutiny with questions as to why he was out on the street and able to murder a police officer. One prior case showed his clear disdain for police as he fought one officer and pulled him into a vehicle with a pit bull inside.
As the family worked to rebuild after the incredible loss of Officer Tarentino, their blue family went to great lengths to get them the support they needed.
Officer Ronald Tarentino's lifetime friend, Rob Bjorkgren, became a police officer in Tewksbury. Bjorken's wife Nicole attended an event just after Tarentino's death and mustered up the courage during a second's long encounter to ask NFL legend Tom Brady for his help.
Nicole asked Brady for 10 seconds of his time during the Best Buddies Bike Ride, The Boston Herald explained. She quickly told Brady about the loss of Tarentino and his family left behind. Brady replied, "I really want to help."
“That immediate response shows where his heart is at, and that Ron’s death has made an impact on him as well,” Tricia Tarentino, Ron's widow said afterward. “Ron was just that kind of person. He had an amazing personality and wanted to reach out to help others. I think that’s why so many people have responded to this tragedy. It’s just a great loss.”
“They’ve grown up watching Tom Brady and looking up to him,” she said of her sons, Ronald III, 21; Spenser, 18; and Kyle, 15. “I can’t even tell you how great their response was. They were blown away. They were so excited.”
Brady donated a signed home-game jersey to be auctioned at the upcoming fundraiser. After hearing about it, fellow players also stepped in to help. Edelman sent over a signed football and Gronkowski also extended an invitation to Rob Bjorkegren to come over and personally pick up a signed jersey. Brady's jersey alone brought in $6,000 at the event.
“I believe he would be so happy and honored he’d feel like a million dollars knowing he was loved as much as he is,” said Bjorkgren.
"We have the deepest gratitude for his kindness and generosity. Just reaching out to our family in our time of need is unbelievable,” Tarentino said. “We’re so fortunate that he is part of the greater New England family and was kind enough to donate his time to do this. To be there for us, it means a lot to us.”
Thank you to the New England Patriots for their kindness to this fallen hero's family. Your generosity will never be forgotten.