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Officer Killed During Rappelling Exercise

Officer Killed During Rappelling Exercise

The Sanford Herald via YellowBrix

July 07, 2011

SANFORD, NC — Sanford police confirmed Wednesday that an officer died following a rappelling accident during a Tuesday afternoon training session at the Emergency Services Training Center off Tramway Road.

The officer, 55-year-old Elieser “Eli” Colonroche, died at roughly 6:30 p.m. at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill after he slammed into the wall of a four-story tower on the training grounds, authorities said.

“It was just an accident,” said Maj. Kevin Gray, head of the Sanford Police Department’s field operations. “There were no safety issues, all the safety precautions were followed.”

Gray said Colonroche, a local police officer since August 2002, was practicing for a planned rappelling demonstration. Colonroche was scaling down the tower when he slammed hard into a third-floor window. Police said Colonroche appeared to have suffered only a minor elbow injury, but was nevertheless taken to Central Carolina Hospital.

Colonroche was later transported to Chapel Hill, where he was declared dead early Tuesday evening.

Gray said officials are still waiting for an autopsy confirmation on the cause of death for the veteran officer, who served as a Spanish-speaking member of the department’s patrol division.

“It’s still kind of vague, and we’re investigating it,” Gray said.

Gray added that Colonroche was experienced at the rappelling, and that officers were preparing for a demonstration with Central Carolina Community College at month’s end. He said Tuesday’s death was the first time the department has lost an officer during the training sessions.

According to information provided by Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home in Sanford, Colonroche’s favorite pastime was skydiving. The native of Puerto Rico had 22 years of service in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne division, and he was married with three sons.

Word spread about the police officer’s death by Wednesday afternoon, with several people in local law enforcement and other city and county posts, including Lee County emergency management chief Shane Seagroves, posting photos of police badges with a black band across the center as a tribute on the social networking Website Facebook.

Seagroves said he was out of town when the accident happened, but he was notified of the death Tuesday night.

“He was a super nice guy,” Seagroves said. “It’s such a shame.”


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  • Photo_max50

    dcrump

    almost 3 years ago

    192 Comments

    R.I.P. our law enforcement brother!

  • Dhs_max50

    WACollector

    almost 3 years ago

    764 Comments

    Rest In Peace, Brother.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    canemah

    almost 3 years ago

    136 Comments

    Rest in Peace Officer Colonrouche and condolances to his family, friends and fellow officers.

    This is why you kiss your spouse and kids every day before you leave for work.

  • Absolutelawenf_max50

    ksphatcop

    almost 3 years ago

    1744 Comments

    Rest in Peace

  • Img_20111016_163737_max50

    DDemlong

    almost 3 years ago

    2238 Comments

    RIP

  • Police_link_badge_max50

    HEYSARGE

    almost 3 years ago

    16734 Comments

    RIP

  • 101227-120643_max50

    2386

    almost 3 years ago

    248 Comments

    REST IN PEACE

  • Putnam_co

    gunslinger_6

    almost 3 years ago

    968 Comments

    RIP Brother

  • 0524001248_0001_0001_max50

    PaulGreen

    almost 3 years ago

    482 Comments

    RIP Officer Elieser. My prayers and thoughts go out to the family.

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    almost 3 years ago

    19386 Comments

    RIPB Officer Elieser “Eli” Colonroche,

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 3 years ago

    Rest In Peace Officer Colonroche. My prayers are for your family, friends, and department as they pass thru this time of grief and sorrow.

  • Cot_max50

    hbg522

    almost 3 years ago

    7006 Comments

    RIP Officer Colonroche

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    bsibley

    almost 3 years ago

    620 Comments

    Rest peacefully Off. Colonroche

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 3 years ago

    Rest in Peace. :(

  • Zombiehunter_max50

    ae2real

    almost 3 years ago

    98 Comments

    R.I.P.

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